Tag: j d salinger

  • Salinger Revisited: Teddy

    The most explicitly Buddhist of Salinger’s stories, the titular character here is a preternaturally wise child who is apparently some sort of Buddhist panjandrum who fell from grace and as a means of atonement was reincarnated into the body of an American (had he engaged in some somewhat less egregious behavior, his reincarnation would have been […]

  • Salinger Revisited: De Daumier Smith’s Blue Period

    This is, to me, one of those stories that feels like a remnant of Salinger’s pre-New Yorker writing. Perhaps this is why it was declined by The New Yorker and instead appeared in Information World Review instead (it was, in fact, the last Salinger story that appeared outside the pages of The New Yorker). There continue to be […]

  • Salinger Revisited: Pretty Mouth and Green my Eyes

    This is perhaps the oddest story in the collection. The other stories in the collection tend to follow a certain pattern but this one does not. We have a somewhat mysterious scenario with a man with a young woman apparently in his apartment for a romantic adventure which is interrupted by a phone call from […]

  • 2016 in reading

    My diversity report for the year: Women authors 48% (down from 51.4% last year). Non-white authors were 16.4% of my reading (up from 14.8% last year). I chose my book to hit diversity targets 25% of the time, down from 37.5% last year. I think part of that is that I’ve been more reluctant to […]

  • Salinger Revisited: For Esmé with Love and Squalor

    This is, as far as I’m concerned, Salinger’s greatest title (and he has some mighty fine titles, especially once we get into the uncollected stories). The structure here is a bit unusual, With the first part being a first-peron recollection of the narrator’s meeting with the titular Esmé (and her younger brother Charles). Esmé is […]

  • Salinger Revisited: Down at the Dinghy

    The first Glass family story without a Glass fatality. I found Salinger’s use of indirect storytelling reasonably effective here. Even though we’re never in the point of view of Lionel, we still manage to get a sense of the world through his eyes. The opening section of the novel, a conversation between two of the […]

  • Salinger Revisited: The Laughing Man

    In “The Laughing Man,” Salinger is telling his story while ostensibly telling a different one. It’s a great use of a narrative frame to illuminate his story in ways that wouldn’t be possible directly. We have a narrator relating memories of his nine-year-old self and not employing the understanding that the older self would have […]

  • Salinger Revisited: Just Before the War with the Eskimos

    This is one of those Salinger stories that left me feeling, “huh?” There is the usual Salinger wit and sharp prose (certainly, this is one of my favorite titles for a Salinger story, even if the story itself is not completely satisfying). Wikipedia informs me that, “At the time of its publication, it confused yet nevertheless […]

  • Salinger Revisited: Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut

    The story whose film adaptation is (at least nominally) the reason that there are no other films of Salinger works. The second of the Glass family stories, in this case with Walt Glass who appears only in recollection. Told almost entirely through dialog, it’s a good example of telling a story through indirection and omission. […]

  • Salinger Revisited: A Perfect Day for Bananafish

    This was the first story I ever taught, in a class on Zen Buddhism I took as an undergrad (everybody in the class taught some topic for half an hour). It’s been twenty-six years, at least, so I don’t really remember the details although I think I only assigned the middle section, the interaction between Seymour […]