J. D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” Revisited (2016)

“Literature is my uptopia. Here I am not disfranchised.”
–Helen Keller

Jerome David Salinger was born on January 1, 1919 in New York City.
J. D. Salinger first started writing short stories while still in high school.
One of his most famous short stories, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” first appeared in
The New Yorker magazine.

Today, The Cather in the Rye is perhaps one of the ten top selling novels of the 20th century.
We read stories of fiction for pleasure; they entertain us.
Great stories like “The Catcher in the Rye” enlighten us, they draw us into their imaginative worlds
and engage us with the power of their invention. Great works of fiction will often hold us in a state
of entanglement and wonder and may even stay with us the rest of our natural lives.

The Catcher in the Rye’s adolescent hero, Holden Caufield being presented to us as a spokesperson for his generation of the 1950’s. When we finish reading truly great literature, we have a new perspective on our world and ourselves.

The great Ernest Hemingway was a good and dear friend to J. D. Salinger and would often remark to other writers about J. D. Salinger’s talent,
“JESUS, he has a hell of a talent.”

In 1953 while being interviewed by a high school newspaper J.D. Salinger admitted that
The Catcher in the Rye was really sort of autobiographical.
“My boyhood was very much the same as Holden Caufield; it was a great relief telling people about it.”
–J.D. Salinger

According to Modern Language Review Journal, The Catcher in the Rye has sold over
65 million copies. Several Hollywood film stars and film directors have sought to make
film adaptations with no success including Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Dicaprio,
Harvey Weinstein and even Steven Spielberg.

In 1980 Mark David Chapman, the man who shot and killed John Lennon, was reading
The Catcher in the Rye when he was arrested. In 1989, Robert John Bardo stalked and
killed TV actress, Rebecca Schaeffer at her Hollywood home; he was carrying a copy
of The Catcher in the Rye.

J.D. Salinger led a very private life for more than half a century; he died at age 91 on January 27, 2010. The Cather in the Rye was first published in 1951.

Charles Micheaux
Micheaux Publishing
Atlanta, Georgia

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