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The Catcher in the Rye  
Rye catcher.jpg
First edition cover
Author J. D. Salinger
Cover artist E. Michael Mitchell[1][2]
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Publication date 1951
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 276 pp
ISBN 0-316-76953-3
OCLC Number 287628

The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger.[3]. Originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage confusion, angst, sexuality, alienation, and rebellion.[4] It has been translated into almost all of the world's major languages.[5] Around 250,000 copies are sold each year, with total sales of more than sixty-five million.[6] The novel's protagonist and antihero, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage rebellion.[7]

The novel was included on a 2005 Time Magazine list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923,[8] and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It has been frequently challenged[9][10][11] in the United States for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and teenage angst. It also deals with complex issues of identity, belonging, connection, and alienation.

Contents

Plot summary

The first-person narrative follows Holden Caulfield's experiences in New York City in the days following his expulsion from Pencey Prep, a fictional college preparatory school in the fictional city of Agerstown, Pennsylvania.

Holden shares encounters he has had with students and faculty of Pencey, whom he criticizes as being superficial, or, as he would say, "phony", Holden's ultimate insult for anything. After being expelled from the school for poor grades, Holden packs up and leaves the school in the middle of the night after an altercation with his roommate. He takes a train to New York, but does not want to return to his family and instead checks into the dilapidated Edmont Hotel. There, he spends an evening dancing with three tourist girls and has a clumsy encounter with a prostitute; his attitude toward the prostitute (a girl his own age) changes the minute she enters the room, and after he tells her he just wants to talk, she becomes annoyed with him and leaves. However, he still pays her for her time. She demands more money than was originally agreed upon and when Holden refuses to pay he is beaten by her pimp, Maurice (despite her encouraging him to simply threaten the money out of him and leave).

Holden spends a total of three days in the city, characterized largely by drunkenness and loneliness. At one point he ends up at a museum, where he contrasts his life with the statues of Eskimos on display. For as long as he can remember, the statues have been unchanging. These concerns may have stemmed largely from the death of his brother, Allie. Eventually, he sneaks into his parents' apartment while they are away, to visit his younger sister, Phoebe, who is nearly the only person with whom he seems to be able to communicate. Phoebe views Holden as a hero, and she is naively unaware that Holden's view of her is virtually identical. Holden shares a fantasy he has been thinking about (based on a mishearing of Robert Burns' Comin' Through the Rye): he pictures himself as the sole guardian of numerous children running and playing in a huge rye field on the edge of a cliff. His job is to catch the children if they wander close to the brink; to be a "catcher in the rye". After leaving his parents' apartment, Holden then drops by to see a former, and much admired, English teacher, Mr. Antolini, in the middle of the night, and is offered advice on life and a place to sleep. Mr. Antolini tells Holden that it is the stronger man who lives humbly, rather than dies nobly, for a cause. This rebukes Holden's ideas of becoming a "catcher in the rye," a heroic figure who symbolically saves children from "falling off a crazy cliff" and being exposed to the evils of adulthood. During the speech on life, Mr. Antolini has a number of "highballs," referring to a cocktail served in a highball glass. Holden's comfort is upset when he wakes up in the night to find Mr. Antolini patting his head in a way that he perceives as "flitty." There is much speculation on whether Mr. Antolini was making a sexual advance on Holden, and it is left up to the reader to decide whether this is true. Holden leaves and spends his last afternoon wandering the city. He later wonders if his interpretation of Mr. Antolini's actions was actually correct.

Holden decides to move out west; he relays these plans to his sister, who decides she wants to go with him. He refuses to take her, and when she becomes upset with him, he tells her that he will no longer go. Holden then takes Phoebe to the Central Park Zoo, where he watches with a bittersweet joy as she rides a carousel. He decides, while watching Phoebe, to go home and "face the music". At the close of the book, Holden chooses not to mention much about the present day, finding it inconsequential. He alludes to "getting sick" and living in a mental hospital, and mentions that he'll be attending another school in September. Holden says that he has surprisingly found himself missing Stradlater and Ackley (his former classmates), and even Maurice the elevator operator/pimp. He says, "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you'll start missing everybody".

Writing style

The Catcher in the Rye is written in a subjective style from the point of view of its protagonist, Holden Caulfield, following his exact thought process (a writing style known as stream of consciousness). There is flow in the seemingly disjointed ideas and episodes; for example, as Holden sits in a chair in his dorm, minor events such as picking up a book or looking at a table, unfold into discussions about experiences. Critical reviews agree that the novel accurately reflected the teenage colloquial speech of the time.[12]

Interpretations

Writer Bruce Brooks held that Holden's attitude remains unchanged at story's end, implying no maturation, thus differentiating the novel from young adult fiction.[13] In contrast, writer and academic Louis Menand thought that teachers assign the novel because of the optimistic ending, to teach adolescent readers that "alienation is just a phase."[14] While Brooks maintained that Holden acts his age, Menand claimed that Holden thinks as an adult, given his ability to accurately perceive people and their motives such as when Phoebe states that she will go out west with Holden, and he immediately rejects this idea as ridiculous, much to Phoebe's disappointment. Others highlight the dilemma of Holden's state, in between adolescence and adulthood.[15][16] While Holden views himself to be smarter than and as mature as adults, he is quick to become emotional. "I felt sorry as hell for..." is a phrase he often uses.[15]

Peter Beidler, in his A Reader's Companion to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, identifies the movie that the prostitute Sunny refers to in chapter 13 of The Catcher in the Rye. She says that in the movie a boy falls off a boat. The movie is Captains Courageous, starring Spencer Tracy. Sunny says that Holden looks like the boy who fell off the boat. Beidler shows (see p. 28) a still of the boy, played by child-actor Freddie Bartholomew.

The novel's philosophy has been negatively compared with that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.[17]

Each Caulfield child has literary talent: D.B. writes screenplays in Hollywood; Holden also reveres D. B. for his writing skill (Holden's own best subject), but he also despises movies, considering them the ultimate in "phony", and describes D. B.'s move to Hollywood to write for films as "prostituting himself". Allie wrote poetry on his baseball glove; and Phoebe is a diarist. [18] This "catcher in the rye" is an analogy for Holden, who admires in kids attributes he struggles to find in adults, like innocence, kindness, spontaneity and generosity. Falling off the cliff could be a progression into the adult world that surrounds him and that he strongly criticizes. Later, Phoebe and Holden exchange roles as the "catcher" and the "fallen"; he gives her his hunting hat, the catcher's symbol, and becomes the fallen as Phoebe becomes the catcher.[19]

Reception

The Catcher in the Rye has been listed as one of the best novels of the 20th century. For The New York Times, James Stern wrote a negative review of the book,[20] while Nash K. Burger called it "an unusually brilliant novel".[21] George H.W. Bush called it "a marvelous book," listing it among the books that have inspired him.[22] In June 2009, the BBC's Finlo Rohrer wrote that, 58 years since publication, the book is still regarded "as the defining work on what it is like to be a teenager. Holden is at various times disaffected, disgruntled, alienated, isolated, directionless, and sarcastic."[23] Adam Gopnik considers it one of the "three perfect books" in American literature, along with Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby, and believes that "no book has ever captured a city better than Catcher in the Rye captured New York in the forties".[24]

Not all reception was positive, however. The book has had a share of critics. Rohrer writes that "Many of these readers are disappointed that the novel fails to meet the expectations generated by the mystique it is shrouded in. J. D. Salinger has done his part to enhance this mystique. That is to say, he has done nothing."[23] Rohrer assessed the reasons behind both the popularity and criticism of the book, saying that it "captures existential teenage angst" and has a "complex central character" and "accessible conversational style"; while at the same time some readers may dislike the "use of 1940s New York vernacular", "self-obsessed central character" and "too much whining".[23]

Controversy

In 1960 a teacher was fired for assigning the novel in class. He was later reinstated.[25] Between 1961 and 1982, The Catcher in the Rye was the most censored book in high schools and libraries in the United States.[26] In 1981, it was both the most censored book and the second most taught book in public schools in the United States.[27] According to the American Library Association, The Catcher in the Rye was the tenth most frequently challenged book from 1990–1999.[9] It was one of the ten most challenged books in 2005, and has been off the list since 2006.[28] The challenges generally begin with vulgar language, citing the novel's use of words like "fuck"[29] and "goddamn",[30] with more general reasons including sexual references,[31] blasphemy, undermining of family values[30] and moral codes,[32] Holden's being a poor role model,[33] encouragement of rebellion,[34] and promotion of drinking, smoking, lying, and promiscuity.[32] Often, the challengers have been unfamiliar with the plot itself.[26] Shelley Keller-Gage, a high school teacher who faced objections after assigning the novel in her class, noted that the challengers "are being just like Holden . . . They are trying to be catchers in the rye."[30] A reverse effect has been that this incident caused people to put themselves on the waiting list to borrow the novel, when there were none before.[35]

Mark David Chapman's shooting of John Lennon, John Hinckley, Jr.'s assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, Robert John Bardo's shooting of Rebecca Schaeffer and other murders have also been associated with the novel.[36][37]

In 2009, Salinger successfully sued to stop the U.S. publication of a novel that presents Holden Caulfield as an old man.[23][38] The novel's author, Fredrik Colting, commented, "call me an ignorant Swede, but the last thing I thought possible in the U.S. was that you banned books".[39] The issue is complicated by the nature of Colting's book, 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, which has been compared to fan fiction.[40] Although commonly not authorized by writers, no legal action is usually taken[citation needed] against fan fiction since it is rarely published commercially and thus involves no profit. Colting, however, has published his book commercially. Unauthorized fan fiction on The Catcher in the Rye has existed on the Internet for years without any legal action taken by Salinger.[40]

Attempted adaptations

Early in his career, J. D. Salinger expressed a willingness to have his work adapted for the screen.[41] However, in 1949, a critically panned film version of his short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut" was released; renamed My Foolish Heart and taking great liberties with Salinger's plot, the film is widely considered to be among the reasons that Salinger refused to allow any subsequent movie adaptations of his work.[15][42] The enduring popularity of The Catcher in the Rye, however, has resulted in repeated attempts to secure the novel's screen rights.[43]

When The Catcher in the Rye was first released, many offers were made to adapt it for the screen; among them was Sam Goldwyn, producer of My Foolish Heart.[42] In a letter written in the early fifties, J. D. Salinger spoke of mounting a play in which he would play the role of Holden Caulfield opposite Margaret O'Brien, and, if he couldn’t play the part himself, to “forget about it." Almost fifty years later, the writer Joyce Maynard definitively concluded, "The only person who might ever have played Holden Caulfield would have been J. D. Salinger."[44]

J.D. Salinger told Maynard in the seventies that Jerry Lewis "tried for years to get his hands on the part of Holden,"[44] despite Lewis not having read the novel until he was in his thirties.[35] Celebrities ranging from Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson to Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio have since made efforts to make a film adaptation.[45] In an interview with Premiere magazine, John Cusack commented that his one regret about turning twenty-one was that he had become too old to play Holden Caulfield. Writer-director Billy Wilder recounted his abortive attempts to snare the novel's rights:

Of course I read The Catcher in the Rye....Wonderful book. I loved it. I pursued it. I wanted to make a picture out of it. And then one day a young man came to the office of Leland Hayward, my agent, in New York, and said, 'Please tell Mr. Leland Hayward to lay off. He’s very, very insensitive.' And he walked out. That was the entire speech. I never saw him. That was J. D. Salinger and that was Catcher in the Rye.[46]

In 1961, J. D. Salinger denied Elia Kazan permission to direct a stage adaptation of Catcher for Broadway.[47] More recently, Salinger's agents received bids for the Catcher movie rights from Harvey Weinstein and Steven Spielberg,[48] neither of which was even passed on to J. D. Salinger for consideration.

In 2003, the BBC television program The Big Read featured The Catcher in the Rye, intercutting discussions of the novel with "a series of short films that featured an actor playing J. D. Salinger's adolescent antihero, Holden Caulfield."[47] The show defended its unlicensed adaptation of the novel by claiming to be a "literary review," and no major charges were filed.

According to a speculative article in The Guardian in May 2006, there were rumors that director Terrence Malick has been linked to a possible screen adaptation of the novel.[49]

After J. D. Salinger's death in 2010, Phyllis Westberg, who was Salinger's agent at Harold Ober Associates, stated that nothing has changed in terms of licensing movie, television, or stage rights of his works.[50] A letter written by Salinger in 1957 revealed that he was open to an adaptation of The Catcher in the Rye released after his death. He wrote: "Firstly, it is possible that one day the rights will be sold. Since there's an ever-looming possibility that I won't die rich, I toy very seriously with the idea of leaving the unsold rights to my wife and daughter as a kind of insurance policy. It pleasures me no end, though, I might quickly add, to know that I won't have to see the results of the transaction."[51]

In popular culture

References to The Catcher in the Rye in media and popular culture are numerous. Works inspired by The Catcher in the Rye have been said to form their own genre.[14] Dr. Sarah Graham assessed works influenced by The Catcher in the Rye to include the novels Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis,The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, and Judith Guest's Ordinary People. Graham also includes the films The Graduate, Dead Poets Society, Tadpole, Igby Goes Down, and Donnie Darko. In the decade following its publication, there were more than 70 essays on the novel printed in American and British magazines.

References

Notes

  1. ^ "CalArts Remembers Beloved Animation Instructor E. Michael Mitchell". Calarts.edu. http://calarts.edu/news/11-sep-2009/calartsremembersbelovedanimationinstructoremichaelmitchell. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  2. ^ "50 Most Captivating Covers". Onlineuniversities.com. http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2010/01/judging-the-book-50-most-captivating-covers-of-all-time/. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  3. ^ Los Angeles Times, Jan. 29, 2010. http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-salinger29-2010jan29,0,578438.story
  4. ^ Michael Cart (2000-11-15). "Famous Firsts. (young-adult literature)". Booklist. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-28671475_ITM. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  5. ^ Magill, Frank N. (1991). "J. D. Salinger". Magill's Survey of American Literature. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. p. 1803. ISBN 1-85435-437-X. 
  6. ^ According to List of best-selling books. An earlier article says more than twenty million: Jonathan Yardley (2004-10-19). "J. D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, Aging Gracelessly". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43680-2004Oct18.html. Retrieved 2007-01-21. 
  7. ^ Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions By Elizabeth Webber, Mike Feinsilber p.105
  8. ^ Grossman, Lev; Richard Lacayo (2005). "All-Time 150 Novels: The Complete List". Time. http://www.time.com/time/2005/100books/the_complete_list.html. 
  9. ^ a b "The 100 most frequently challenged books: 1990–1999". American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedbydecade/1990_1999/index.cfm. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  10. ^ List of most commonly challenged books from the list of the one hundred most important books of the 20th century by Radcliffe Publishing Course
  11. ^ Jeff Guinn (2001-08-10). "'Catcher in the Rye' still influences 50 years later" (fee required). Erie Times-News. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=ET&p_theme=et&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EDCAD301800C85B&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D. Retrieved 2007-12-18.  Alternate URL
  12. ^ Donald P. Costello (October 1959). "The Language of 'The Catcher in the Rye'". American Speech 34 (3): 172–181. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0003-1283(195910)34%3A3%3C172%3ATLO'CI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-4. Retrieved 2007-12-20. "Most critics who looked at The Catcher in the Rye at the time of its publication thought that its language was a true and authentic rendering of teenage colloquial speech.". 
  13. ^ Bruce Brooks (2004-05-01). "Holden at sixteen". Horn Book Magazine. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-21384266_ITM. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  14. ^ a b Louis Menand (2001-09-27). "Holden at fifty". The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2001/10/01/011001fa_FACT3?currentPage=all. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  15. ^ a b c Katrina Onstad (2008-02-22). "Beholden to Holden". CBC News. http://www.cbc.ca/arts/film/bartlett.html. 
  16. ^ Graham, 33.
  17. ^ Carl F. Strauch (Winter 1961). "Kings in the Back Row: Meaning through Structure. A Reading of J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye". Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature 2 (1): 5–30. doi:10.2307/1207365. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0146-4949%28196124%292%3A1%3C5%3AKITBRM%3E2.0.CO%3B2-5&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  18. ^ Margaret Dumais Svogun (Winter 2003). "J.D. Salinger's THE CATCHER IN THE RYE". Explicator 2 (2): pp. 110–113. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=9553015&site=ehost-live. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  19. ^ Yasuhiro Takeuchi (Fall 2002). "The Burning Carousel and the Carnivalesque: Subversion and Transcendence at the Close of The Catcher in the Rye". Studies in the Novel 34 (3): pp. 320–337. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=7592838&site=ehost-live. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  20. ^ James Stern (1951-07-15). "Aw, the World's a Crumby Place". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/09/13/specials/salinger-rye01.html. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  21. ^ Nash K. Burger (1951-07-16). Rand-rye02.html "Books of The Times". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/09/13/specials/Ayn Rand-rye02.html. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  22. ^ "Academy of Achievement — George H. W. Bush". The American Academy of Achievement -. http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/bus0int-1. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  23. ^ a b c d Rohrer, Finlo (June 5, 2009). "The why of the Rye". BBC News Magazine (BBC). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8084931.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  24. ^ Gopnik, Adam. The New Yorker, February 8, 2010, p. 21
  25. ^ Fernando Dutra (2006-09-25). "U. Connecticut: Banned Book Week celebrates freedom". The America's Intelligence Wire. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-18592168_ITM. Retrieved 2007-12-20. "In 1960 a teacher in Tulsa, Okla., was fired for assigning "Catcher in the Rye." After appealing, the teacher was reinstated, but the book was removed from the itinerary in the school." 
  26. ^ a b "In Cold Fear: 'The Catcher in the Rye', Censorship, Controversies and Postwar American Character. (Book Review)". Modern Language Review. 2003-04-01. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-4139523_ITM. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  27. ^ Sylvia Andrychuk (2004-02-17). "A History of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye" (PDF). p. 6. http://www.slais.ubc.ca/courses/libr559f/03-04-wt2/projects/S_Andrychuk/Content/history_book_catcher.pdf. Retrieved 2007-12-19. "During 1981, The Catcher in the Rye had the unusual distinction of being the most frequently censored book in the United States, and, at the same time, the second-most frequently taught novel in American public schools." 
  28. ^ "Top ten most frequently challenged books of 2006". American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/21stcenturychallenged/2006/index.cfm. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  29. ^ "Art or trash? It makes for endless, debate that cant be won". The Topeka Capital-Journal. 1997-10-06. http://www.cjonline.com/stories/100697/snider.html. Retrieved 2007-12-20. "Another perennial target, J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye," was challenged in Maine because of the "f" word." 
  30. ^ a b c Seth Mydans (1989-09-03). "In a Small Town, a Battle Over a Book". The New York Times: p. 2. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE1D7103CF930A3575AC0A96F948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  31. ^ Ben MacIntyre (2005-09-24). "The American banned list reveals a society with serious hang-ups". The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,923-1792974,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  32. ^ a b Helen Frangedis (November 1988). "Dealing with the Controversial Elements in The Catcher in the Rye". The English Journal 77 (7): 72–75. doi:10.2307/818945. http://www.jstor.org/stable/818945. Retrieved 2007-12-22. "The foremost allegation made against Catcher is... that it teaches loose moral codes; that it glorifies... drinking, smoking, lying, promiscuity, and more.". 
  33. ^ Anna Quindlen (1993-04-07). "Public & Private; The Breast Ban". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE7DE123EF934A35757C0A965958260. Retrieved 2007-12-20. ""The Catcher in the Rye" is perennially banned because Holden Caulfield is said to be an unsuitable role model." 
  34. ^ Yilu Zhao (2003-08-31). "Banned, But Not Forgotten". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06E2DF1438F932A0575BC0A9659C8B63. Retrieved 2007-12-20. "The Catcher in the Rye, interpreted by some as encouraging rebellion against authority..." 
  35. ^ a b Stephen Whitfield (December 1997). "Cherished and Cursed: Toward a Social History of The Catcher in the Rye". The New England Quarterly 70 (4): 567–600. doi:10.2307/366646. 
  36. ^ Linton Weeks (2000-09-10). "Telling on Dad". Amarillo Globe-News. http://www.amarillo.com/stories/091000/boo_tellingondad.shtml. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  37. ^ Aidan Doyle (2003-12-15). "When books kill". Salon.com. http://dir.salon.com/story/books/feature/2003/12/15/books_kill/index1.html. 
  38. ^ Doug Gross (2009-06-03). "Lawsuit targets 'rip-off' of 'Catcher in the Rye'". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/books/06/03/salinger.catcher.lawsuit/index.html. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  39. ^ Fogel, Karl. Looks like censorship, smells like censorship... maybe it IS censorship?. QuestionCopyright.org. 2009-07-07.
  40. ^ a b Sutherland, John. How fanfic took over the web London Evening Standard. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
  41. ^ Hamilton, Ian (1988). In Search of J. D. Salinger. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-53468-9.  p. 75.
  42. ^ a b Berg, A. Scott. Goldwyn: A Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. ISBN 1-57322-723-4. p. 446.
  43. ^ See Dr. Peter Beidler's A Reader's Companion to J. D. Salinger's the Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 7.
  44. ^ a b Maynard, Joyce (1998). At Home in the World. New York: Picador. p. 93. ISBN 0-312-19556-7.  p. 93.
  45. ^ "News & Features". IFILM: The Internet Movie Guide. 2004. Archived from the original on 2004-09-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20040906/vgn.ifilm.com/db/static_text/0,1699,5784,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-05. 
  46. ^ Crowe, Cameron, ed. Conversations with Wilder. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999. ISBN 0-375-40660-3. p. 299.
  47. ^ a b McAllister, David (2003-11-11). "Will J. D. Salinger sue?". The Guardian. http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1082699,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  48. ^ "PAGE SIX; Inside J. D. Salinger's Own World". The New York Post.. 2003-12-04. http://entertainment.myway.com/celebgossip/pgsix/id/12_04_2003_1.html. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  49. ^ Ones that got away, guardian.co.uk Books
  50. ^ "Slim chance of Catcher in the Rye movie — ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/29/2805400.htm?section=justin. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  51. ^ "Could 'Catcher in the Rye' finally make it to the big screen? Salinger letter suggests yes". Nydailynews.com. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music/2010/01/30/2010-01-30_could_catcher_in_the_rye_finally_make_it_to_the_big_screen_salinger_letter_sugge.html. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 

Bibliography

Further reading

External links


The Catcher in the Rye  
File:Rye
First edition cover
Author J. D. Salinger
Cover artist E. Michael Mitchell[1][2]
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Publication date 1951
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 276 pp
ISBN 0-316-76953-3
OCLC Number 287628

The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger.[3] Originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage confusion, angst, sexuality, alienation, and rebellion.[4] It has been translated into almost all of the world's major languages.[5] Around 250,000 copies are sold each year, with total sales of more than 65 million.[6] The novel's protagonist and antihero, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage rebellion.[7]

The novel was included on Time's 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923,[8] and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It has been frequently challenged[9][10][11] in the United States and other countries for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and teenage angst. It also deals with complex issues of identity, belonging, connection, and alienation.

Contents

Plot summary

Holden Caulfield (The protagonist of this story) shares encounters he has had with students and faculty of Pencey prep, whom he criticizes as being superficial, or, as he would say, "phony." After being expelled from the school for poor grades, Holden packs up and leaves the school in the middle of the night after an altercation with his roommate. He takes a train to New York, but does not want to return to his family and instead checks into the dilapidated Edmont Hotel. There, he spends an evening dancing with three tourist girls and has a clumsy encounter with a young prostitute around his age named Sunny;[12] his attitude toward the prostitute changes the minute she enters the room, and after he tells her he just wants to talk, she becomes annoyed with him and leaves. However, he still pays her for her time. She demands more money than was originally agreed upon and when Holden refuses to pay he is beaten by her pimp, Maurice (despite her suggestion that he simply threaten the money out of Holden and leave).

Holden spends a total of three days in the city, characterized largely by drunkenness and loneliness. At one point he ends up at a museum, where he contrasts his life with the statues of Eskimos on display. For as long as he can remember, the statues have been unchanging. These concerns may have stemmed largely from the death of his brother, Allie. Eventually, he sneaks into his parents' apartment while they are away, to visit his younger sister, Phoebe, who is nearly the only person with whom he seems to be able to communicate. Phoebe views Holden as a hero, and she is naively unaware that Holden's view of her is virtually identical. Holden shares a fantasy he has been thinking about (based on a mishearing of Robert Burns' Comin' Through the Rye): he pictures himself as the sole guardian of numerous children running and playing in a huge rye field on the edge of a cliff. His job is to catch the children if they wander close to the brink; to be a "catcher in the rye".

After leaving his parents' apartment, Holden then drops by to see a former, and much admired, English teacher, Mr. Antolini, in the middle of the night, and is offered advice on life and a place to sleep. Mr. Antolini tells Holden that it is the stronger man who lives humbly for a cause that he believes in, rather than dies nobly for it. This rebukes Holden's ideas of becoming a "catcher in the rye," a heroic figure who symbolically saves children from "falling off a crazy cliff" and being exposed to the evils of adulthood. During the speech on life, Mr. Antolini has a number of "highballs," referring to a cocktail served in a highball glass. Holden's comfort is upset when he wakes up in the night to find Mr. Antolini patting his head in a way that he perceives as "flitty." There is much speculation on whether Mr. Antolini was making a sexual advance on Holden, and it is left up to the reader to decide whether this is true. Holden leaves and spends his last afternoon wandering the city. He later wonders if his interpretation of Mr. Antolini's actions was actually correct.

Holden decides to move out west; he relays these plans to his sister, who decides she wants to go with him. He refuses to take her, and when she becomes upset with him, he tells her that he will no longer go. Holden then takes Phoebe to the Central Park Zoo, where he watches with a bittersweet joy as she rides a carousel. He decides, while watching Phoebe, to go home and "face the music". At the close of the book, Holden chooses not to mention much about the present day, finding it inconsequential. He alludes to "getting sick" and living in a mental hospital, and mentions that he'll be attending another school in September. Holden says that he has surprisingly found himself missing Stradlater and Ackley (his former classmates), and even Maurice the elevator operator/pimp. He says, "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you'll start missing everybody".

Writing style

The Catcher in the Rye is written in a subjective style from the point of view of its protagonist, Holden Caulfield, following his exact thought process (a writing style known as stream of consciousness). There is flow in the seemingly disjointed ideas and episodes; for example, as Holden sits in a chair in his dorm, minor events such as picking up a book or looking at a table, unfold into discussions about experiences.Critical reviews agree that the novel accurately reflected the teenage colloquial speech of the time.[13]

Interpretations

Writer Bruce Brooks held that Holden's attitude remains unchanged at story's end, implying no maturation, thus differentiating the novel from young adult fiction.[14] In contrast, writer and academic Louis Menand thought that teachers assign the novel because of the optimistic ending, to teach adolescent readers that "alienation is just a phase."[15] While Brooks maintained that Holden acts his age, Menand claimed that Holden thinks as an adult, given his ability to accurately perceive people and their motives such as when Phoebe states that she will go out west with Holden, and he immediately rejects this idea as ridiculous, much to Phoebe's disappointment. Others highlight the dilemma of Holden's state, in between adolescence and adulthood.[16][17] While Holden views himself to be smarter than and as mature as adults, he is quick to become emotional. "I felt sorry as hell for..." is a phrase he often uses.[16]

Peter Beidler, in his A Reader's Companion to J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye", identifies the movie that the prostitute Sunny refers to in chapter 13 of The Catcher in the Rye. She says that in the movie a boy falls off a boat. The movie is Captains Courageous, starring Spencer Tracy. Sunny says that Holden looks like the boy who fell off the boat. Beidler shows (see p. 28) a still of the boy, played by child-actor Freddie Bartholomew.

The novel's philosophy has been negatively compared with that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.[18][clarification needed]

Each Caulfield child has literary talent: D. B. writes screenplays in Hollywood; Holden also reveres D. B. for his writing skill (Holden's own best subject), but he also despises movies, considering them the ultimate in "phony", and describes D. B.'s move to Hollywood to write for films as "prostituting himself". Allie wrote poetry on his baseball glove; and Phoebe is a diarist.[19] This "catcher in the rye" is an analogy for Holden, who admires in kids attributes he struggles to find in adults, like innocence, kindness, spontaneity, and generosity. Falling off the cliff could be a progression into the adult world that surrounds him and that he strongly criticizes. Later, Phoebe and Holden exchange roles as the "catcher" and the "fallen"; he gives her his hunting hat, the catcher's symbol, and becomes the fallen as Phoebe becomes the catcher.[20]

Reception

The Catcher in the Rye has been listed as one of the best novels of the 20th century. For The New York Times, James Stern wrote a negative review of the book,[21] while Nash K. Burger called it "an unusually brilliant novel".[22] George H. W. Bush called it "a marvelous book", listing it among the books that have inspired him.[23] In June 2009, the BBC's Finlo Rohrer wrote that, 58 years since publication, the book is still regarded "as the defining work on what it is like to be a teenager. Holden is at various times disaffected, disgruntled, alienated, isolated, directionless, and sarcastic."[24] Adam Gopnik considers it one of the "three perfect books" in American literature, along with Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby, and believes that "no book has ever captured a city better than Catcher in the Rye captured New York in the forties".[25]

Not all reception was positive, however. The book has had its share of critics. Rohrer writes, "Many of these readers are disappointed that the novel fails to meet the expectations generated by the mystique it is shrouded in. J. D. Salinger has done his part to enhance this mystique. That is to say, he has done nothing."[24] Rohrer assessed the reasons behind both the popularity and criticism of the book, saying that it "captures existential teenage angst" and has a "complex central character" and "accessible conversational style"; while at the same time some readers may dislike the "use of 1940s New York vernacular", "self-obsessed central character", and "too much whining".[24]

Controversy

In 1960 a teacher was fired for assigning the novel in class; he was later reinstated.[26] Between 1961 and 1982, The Catcher in the Rye was the most censored book in high schools and libraries in the United States.[27] In 1981, it was both the most censored book and the second most taught book in public schools in the United States.[28] According to the American Library Association, The Catcher in the Rye was the tenth most frequently challenged book from 1990–1999.[9] It was one of the ten most challenged books of 2005[29] and although it has been off the list for three years, it has reappeared in the list of most challenged books of 2009.[30] The challenges generally begin with vulgar language, citing the novel's use of words like fuck[31] and goddamn,[32] with more general reasons including sexual references,[33] blasphemy, undermining of family values[32] and moral codes,[34] Holden's being a poor role model,[35] encouragement of rebellion,[36] and promotion of drinking, smoking, lying, and promiscuity.[34] Often, the challengers have been unfamiliar with the plot itself.[27] Shelley Keller-Gage, a high school teacher who faced objections after assigning the novel in her class, noted that the challengers "are being just like Holden... They are trying to be catchers in the rye."[32] A reverse effect has been that this incident caused people to put themselves on the waiting list to borrow the novel, when there were none before.[37]

Mark David Chapman's shooting of John Lennon (Chapman was arrested with a copy of the book), John Hinckley, Jr.'s assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, Robert John Bardo's shooting of Rebecca Schaeffer, and other murders have also been associated with the novel.[38][39]

In 2009, Salinger successfully sued to stop the U.S. publication of a novel that presents Holden Caulfield as an old man.[24][40] The novel's author, Fredrik Colting, commented, "call me an ignorant Swede, but the last thing I thought possible in the U.S. was that you banned books."[41] The issue is complicated by the nature of Colting's book, 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, which has been compared to fan fiction.[42] Although commonly not authorized by writers, no legal action is usually taken[43] against fan fiction since it is rarely published commercially and thus involves no profit. Colting, however, has published his book commercially. Unauthorized fan fiction on The Catcher in the Rye has existed on the Internet for years without any legal action taken by Salinger.[42]

Attempted adaptations

Early in his career, J. D. Salinger expressed a willingness to have his work adapted for the screen.[44] However, in 1949, a critically panned film version of his short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut" was released; renamed My Foolish Heart and taking great liberties with Salinger's plot, the film is widely considered to be among the reasons that Salinger refused to allow any subsequent movie adaptations of his work.[16][45] The enduring popularity of The Catcher in the Rye, however, has resulted in repeated attempts to secure the novel's screen rights.[46]

When The Catcher in the Rye was first released, many offers were made to adapt it for the screen; among them was Sam Goldwyn, producer of My Foolish Heart.[45] In a letter written in the early fifties, J. D. Salinger spoke of mounting a play in which he would play the role of Holden Caulfield opposite Margaret O'Brien, and, if he couldn’t play the part himself, to “forget about it." Almost fifty years later, the writer Joyce Maynard definitively concluded, "The only person who might ever have played Holden Caulfield would have been J. D. Salinger."[47]

J. D. Salinger told Maynard in the seventies that Jerry Lewis "tried for years to get his hands on the part of Holden,"[47] despite Lewis not having read the novel until he was in his thirties.[37] Celebrities ranging from Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson to Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio have since made efforts to make a film adaptation.[48] In an interview with Premiere magazine, John Cusack commented that his one regret about turning twenty-one was that he had become too old to play Holden Caulfield. Writer-director Billy Wilder recounted his abortive attempts to snare the novel's rights:

Of course I read The Catcher in the Rye....Wonderful book. I loved it. I pursued it. I wanted to make a picture out of it. And then one day a young man came to the office of Leland Hayward, my agent, in New York, and said, 'Please tell Mr. Leland Hayward to lay off. He’s very, very insensitive.' And he walked out. That was the entire speech. I never saw him. That was J. D. Salinger and that was Catcher in the Rye.[49]

In 1961, J. D. Salinger denied Elia Kazan permission to direct a stage adaptation of Catcher for Broadway.[50] More recently, Salinger's agents received bids for the Catcher movie rights from Harvey Weinstein and Steven Spielberg,[51] neither of which was even passed on to J. D. Salinger for consideration.

In 2003, the BBC television program The Big Read featured The Catcher in the Rye, intercutting discussions of the novel with "a series of short films that featured an actor playing J. D. Salinger's adolescent antihero, Holden Caulfield."[50] The show defended its unlicensed adaptation of the novel by claiming to be a "literary review", and no major charges were filed.

According to a speculative article in The Guardian in May 2006, there were rumors that director Terrence Malick has been linked to a possible screen adaptation of the novel.[52]

After J. D. Salinger's death in 2010, Phyllis Westberg, who was Salinger's agent at Harold Ober Associates, stated that nothing has changed in terms of licensing movie, television, or stage rights of his works.[53] A letter written by Salinger in 1957 revealed that he was open to an adaptation of The Catcher in the Rye released after his death. He wrote: "Firstly, it is possible that one day the rights will be sold. Since there's an ever-looming possibility that I won't die rich, I toy very seriously with the idea of leaving the unsold rights to my wife and daughter as a kind of insurance policy. It pleasures me no end, though, I might quickly add, to know that I won't have to see the results of the transaction."[54]

In popular culture

References to The Catcher in the Rye in media and popular culture are numerous. Works inspired by The Catcher in the Rye have been said to form their own genre.[15] Dr. Sarah Graham assessed works influenced by The Catcher in the Rye to include the novels Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis,The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, and Judith Guest's Ordinary People. It has also been mentioned in the film Six Degrees of Separation and in an episode of the popular show South Park, and references to the novel form a major plot point in the first season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. In the decade following its publication, there were more than 70 essays on the novel printed in American and British magazines.

References

Notes

  1. ^ "CalArts Remembers Beloved Animation Instructor E. Michael Mitchell". Calarts.edu. http://calarts.edu/news/11-sep-2009/calartsremembersbelovedanimationinstructoremichaelmitchell. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  2. ^ "50 Most Captivating Covers". Onlineuniversities.com. http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2010/01/judging-the-book-50-most-captivating-covers-of-all-time/. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  3. ^ Los Angeles Times, Jan. 29, 2010. http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-salinger29-2010jan29,0,578438.story
  4. ^ Michael Cart (2000-11-15). "Famous Firsts. (young-adult literature)". Booklist. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-28671475_ITM. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  5. ^ Magill, Frank N. (1991). "J. D. Salinger". Magill's Survey of American Literature. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. p. 1803. ISBN 1-85435-437-X. 
  6. ^ According to List of best-selling books. An earlier article says more than 20 million: Jonathan Yardley (2004-10-19). "J. D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, Aging Gracelessly". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43680-2004Oct18.html. Retrieved 2007-01-21. 
  7. ^ Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions By Elizabeth Webber, Mike Feinsilber p.105
  8. ^ Grossman, Lev; Richard Lacayo (2005). "All-Time 150 Novels: The Complete List". Time. http://www.time.com/time/2005/100books/the_complete_list.html. 
  9. ^ a b "The 100 most frequently challenged books: 1990–1999". American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedbydecade/1990_1999/index.cfm. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  10. ^ List of most commonly challenged books from the list of the one hundred most important books of the 20th century by Radcliffe Publishing Course
  11. ^ Jeff Guinn (2001-08-10). "'Catcher in the Rye' still influences 50 years later" (fee required). Erie Times-News. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=ET&p_theme=et&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EDCAD301800C85B&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D. Retrieved 2007-12-18.  Alternate URL
  12. ^ "The Catcher in the Rye Characters." Dead Caulfields. Web. 23 June 2010.
  13. ^ Donald P. Costello (October 1959). "The Language of 'The Catcher in the Rye'". American Speech (American Speech, Vol. 34, No. 3) 34 (3): 172–182. doi:10.2307/454038. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0003-1283(195910)34%3A3%3C172%3ATLO'CI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-4. Retrieved 2007-12-20. "Most critics who glared at The Catcher in the Rye at the time of its publication thought that its language was a true and authentic rendering of teenage colloquial speech.". 
  14. ^ Bruce Brooks (2004-05-01). "Holden at sixteen". Horn Book Magazine. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-21384266_ITM. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  15. ^ a b Louis Menand (2001-09-27). "Holden at fifty". The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2001/10/01/011001fa_FACT3?currentPage=all. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  16. ^ a b c Katrina Onstad (2008-02-22). "Beholden to Holden". CBC News. http://www.cbc.ca/arts/film/bartlett.html. 
  17. ^ Graham, 33.
  18. ^ Carl F. Strauch; Salinger (Winter 1961). "Kings in the Back Row: Meaning through Structure. A Reading of J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye". Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature (Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature, Vol. 2, No. 1) 2 (1): 5–30. doi:10.2307/1207365. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0146-4949%28196124%292%3A1%3C5%3AKITBRM%3E2.0.CO%3B2-5&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  19. ^ Margaret Dumais Svogun (Winter 2003). "J.D. Salinger's The catcher in the Rye". Explicator 2 (2): pp. 110–113. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=9553015&site=ehost-live. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  20. ^ Yasuhiro Takeuchi (Fall 2002). "The Burning Carousel and the Carnivalesque: Subversion and Transcendence at the Close of The Catcher in the Rye". Studies in the Novel 34 (3): pp. 320–337. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=7592838&site=ehost-live. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  21. ^ James Stern (1951-07-15). "Aw, the World's a Crumby Place". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/09/13/specials/salinger-rye01.html. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  22. ^ Nash K. Burger (1951-07-16). Rand-rye02.html "Books of The Times". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/09/13/specials/Ayn Rand-rye02.html. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  23. ^ "Academy of Achievement — George H. W. Bush". The American Academy of Achievement –. http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/bus0int-1. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  24. ^ a b c d Rohrer, Finlo (June 5, 2009). "The why of the Rye". BBC News Magazine (BBC). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8084931.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  25. ^ Gopnik, Adam. The New Yorker, February 8, 2010, p. 21
  26. ^ Fernando Dutra (2006-09-25). "U. Connecticut: Banned Book Week celebrates freedom". The America's Intelligence Wire. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-18592168_ITM. Retrieved 2007-12-20. "In 1960 a teacher in Tulsa, Okla., was fired for assigning "Catcher in the Rye." After appealing, the teacher was reinstated, but the book was removed from the itinerary in the school." 
  27. ^ a b "In Cold Fear: 'The Catcher in the Rye', Censorship, Controversies and Postwar American Character. (Book Review)". Modern Language Review. 2003-04-01. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-4139523_ITM. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  28. ^ Sylvia Andrychuk (2004-02-17). "A History of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye" (PDF). p. 6. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20070928072611/http://www.slais.ubc.ca/courses/libr559f/03-04-wt2/projects/S_Andrychuk/Content/history_book_catcher.pdf. Retrieved 2007-12-19. "During 1981, The Catcher in the Rye had the unusual distinction of being the most frequently censored book in the United States, and, at the same time, the second-most frequently taught novel in American public schools." 
  29. ^ "Top ten most frequently challenged books of 2005". American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/21stcenturychallenged/2006/index.cfm. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  30. ^ "Top ten most frequently challenged books of 2009". American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/21stcenturychallenged/2009/index.cfm. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  31. ^ "Art or trash? It makes for endless, debate that cant be won". The Topeka Capital-Journal. 1997-10-06. http://www.cjonline.com/stories/100697/snider.html. Retrieved 2007-12-20. "Another perennial target, J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye," was challenged in Maine because of the "f" word." 
  32. ^ a b c Seth Mydans (1989-09-03). "In a Small Town, a Battle Over a Book". The New York Times: p. 2. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE1D7103CF930A3575AC0A96F948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  33. ^ Ben MacIntyre (2005-09-24). "The American banned list reveals a society with serious hang-ups". The Times (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,923-1792974,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  34. ^ a b Helen Frangedis (November 1988). "Dealing with the Controversial Elements in The Catcher in the Rye". The English Journal (The English Journal, Vol. 77, No. 7) 77 (7): 72–75. doi:10.2307/818945. http://www.jstor.org/stable/818945. Retrieved 2007-12-22. "The foremost allegation made against Catcher is... that it teaches loose moral codes; that it glorifies... drinking, smoking, lying, promiscuity, and more.". 
  35. ^ Anna Quindlen (1993-04-07). "Public & Private; The Breast Ban". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE7DE123EF934A35757C0A965958260. Retrieved 2007-12-20. ""The Catcher in the Rye" is perennially banned because Holden Caulfield is said to be an unsuitable role model." 
  36. ^ Yilu Zhao (2003-08-31). "Banned, But Not Forgotten". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06E2DF1438F932A0575BC0A9659C8B63. Retrieved 2007-12-20. "The Catcher in the Rye, interpreted by some as encouraging rebellion against authority..." 
  37. ^ a b Stephen Whitfield (December 1997). "Cherished and Cursed: Toward a Social History of The Catcher in the Rye". The New England Quarterly (The New England Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4) 70 (4): 567–600. doi:10.2307/366646. http://jstor.org/stable/366646. 
  38. ^ Linton Weeks (2000-09-10). "Telling on Dad". Amarillo Globe-News. http://www.amarillo.com/stories/091000/boo_tellingondad.shtml. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  39. ^ Aidan Doyle (2003-12-15). "When books kill". Salon.com. http://dir.salon.com/story/books/feature/2003/12/15/books_kill/index1.html. 
  40. ^ Doug Gross (2009-06-03). "Lawsuit targets 'rip-off' of 'Catcher in the Rye'". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/books/06/03/salinger.catcher.lawsuit/index.html. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  41. ^ Fogel, Karl. Looks like censorship, smells like censorship... maybe it IS censorship?. QuestionCopyright.org. 2009-07-07.
  42. ^ a b Sutherland, John. How fanfic took over the web London Evening Standard. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
  43. ^ Fan Fiction and a New Common Law'(1997)Rachel Tushnet, Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Journal,. vol.17.
  44. ^ Hamilton, Ian (1988). In Search of J. D. Salinger. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-53468-9.  p. 75.
  45. ^ a b Berg, A. Scott. Goldwyn: A Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. ISBN 1-57322-723-4. p. 446.
  46. ^ See Dr. Peter Beidler's A Reader's Companion to J. D. Salinger's the Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 7.
  47. ^ a b Maynard, Joyce (1998). At Home in the World. New York: Picador. p. 93. ISBN 0-312-19556-7.  p. 93.
  48. ^ "News & Features". IFILM: The Internet Movie Guide. 2004. Archived from the original on 2004-09-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20040906/vgn.ifilm.com/db/static_text/0,1699,5784,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-05. 
  49. ^ Crowe, Cameron, ed. Conversations with Wilder. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999. ISBN 0-375-40660-3. p. 299.
  50. ^ a b McAllister, David (2003-11-11). "Will J. D. Salinger sue?". London: The Guardian. http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1082699,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  51. ^ "Inside J. D. Salinger's Own World". The New York Post.. 2003-12-04. p. 6. http://entertainment.myway.com/celebgossip/pgsix/id/12_04_2003_1.html. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  52. ^ Ones that got away, guardian.co.uk Books
  53. ^ "Slim chance of Catcher in the Rye movie — ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/29/2805400.htm?section=justin. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  54. ^ Connelly, Sherryl (2010-01-29). "Could 'Catcher in the Rye' finally make it to the big screen? Salinger letter suggests yes". New York: Nydailynews.com. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music/2010/01/30/2010-01-30_could_catcher_in_the_rye_finally_make_it_to_the_big_screen_salinger_letter_sugge.html. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 

Bibliography

Further reading

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day...

The Catcher in the Rye (1951) is a novel by J. D. Salinger. It is narrated in the first-person by the protagonist, Holden Caulfield.

Contents

Chapter 1

  • What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by. I mean I've left schools and places I didn't even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don't care if it's a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I'm leaving it. If you don't, you feel even worse.

Chapter 2

  • "Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules."
    "Yes, sir. I know it is. I know it."
    Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it's a game, all right — I'll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren't any hot-shots, then what's a game about it? Nothing. No game.

Chapter 3

  • What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.

Chapter 5

  • My brother Allie had this left-handed fielder's mitt. He was left-handed. The thing that was descriptive about it, though, was that he had poems written all over the fingers and the pocket and everywhere. In green ink. He wrote them on it so that he'd have something to read when he was in the field and nobody was up at bat. He's dead now. He got leukemia and died when we were up in Maine, on July 18, 1946. You'd have liked him.
  • I went over to my window and opened it and packed a snowball with my bare hands. The snow was very good for packing. I didn't throw it at anything, though. I started to throw it. At a car that was parked across the street. But I changed my mind. The car looked so nice and white. Then I started to throw it at a hydrant, but that looked too nice and white, too. Finally I didn't throw it at anything. All I did was close the window and walk around the room with the snowball, packing it harder. A little while later, I still had it with me when I and Brossard and Ackley got on the bus. The bus driver opened the doors and made me throw it out. I told him I wasn't going to chuck it at anybody, but he wouldn't believe me. People never believe you.

Chapter 8

  • I gave her a good look. She didn't look like any dope to me. She looked like she might have a pretty damn good idea what a bastard she was the mother of. But you can't always tell — with somebody's mother, I mean. Mothers are all slightly insane.

Chapter 13

  • The thing is, most of the time when you're coming pretty close to doing it with a girl — a girl that isn't a prostitute or anything, I mean — she keeps telling you to stop. The trouble with me is, I stop. Most guys don't. I can't help it. You never know whether they really want you to stop, or whether they're just scared as hell, or whether they're just telling you to stop so that if you do go through with it, the blame'll be on you, not them. Anyway, I keep stopping.

Chapter 14

  • In the first place, I'm sort of an atheist. I like Jesus and all, but I don't care too much for most of the other stuff in the Bible. Take the Disciples, for instance. They annoy the hell out of me, if you want to know the truth. They were all right after Jesus was dead and all, but while He was alive, they were about as much use to Him as a hole in the head. All they did was keep letting Him down. I like almost anybody in the Bible better than the Disciples. If you want to know the truth, the guy I like best in the Bible, next to Jesus, was that lunatic and all, that lived in the tombs and kept cutting himself with stones. I like him ten times as much as the Disciples, that poor bastard.
  • I'd bet a thousand bucks that Jesus never sent old Judas to Hell. I still would, too, if I had a thousand bucks. I think any one of the Disciples would've sent him to Hell and all — and fast, too — but I'll bet anything Jesus didn't do it.

Chapter 15

Everything I had was bourgeois as hell. Even my fountain pen was bourgeois. He borrowed it off me all the time, but it was bourgeois anyway.
  • At first he only used to be kidding when he called my stuff bourgeois, and I didn't give a damn — it was sort of funny, in fact. Then, after a while, you could tell he wasn't kidding any more. The thing is, it's really hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs — if yours are really good ones and theirs aren't. You think if they're intelligent and all, the other person, and have a good sense of humor, that they don't give a damn whose suitcases are better, but they do.

Chapter 16

  • The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move. You could go there a hundred times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and their pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket. Nobody'd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.

Chapter 17

  • A lot of schools were home for vacation already, and there were about a million girls sitting and standing around waiting for their dates to show up. Girls with their legs crossed, girls with their legs not crossed, girls with terrific legs, girls with lousy legs, girls that looked like swell girls, girls that looked like they'd be bitches if you knew them. It was really nice sightseeing, if you know what I mean. In a way, it was sort of depressing, too, because you kept wondering what the hell would happen to all of them. When they got out of school and college, I mean. You figured most of them would probably marry dopey guys. Guys that always talk about how many miles they get to a gallon in their goddam cars. Guys that get sore and childish as hell if you beat them at golf, or even just some stupid game like ping-pong. Guys that are very mean. Guys that never read books. Guys that are very boring.
  • I don't know about bores. Maybe you shouldn't feel too sorry if you see some swell girl getting married to them. They don't hurt anybody, most of them, and maybe they're secretly all terrific whistlers or something. Who the hell knows? Not me.
  • Take most people, they're crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they're always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that's even newer. I don't even like old cars. I mean they don't even interest me. I'd rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake.

Chapter 18

  • The trouble with girls is, if they like a boy, no matter how big a bastard he is, they'll say he has an inferiority complex, and if they don't like him, no matter how nice a guy he is, or how big an inferiority complex he has, they'll say he's conceited. Even smart girls do it.
  • The part that got me was, there was a lady sitting next to me that cried all through the goddam picture. The phonier it got, the more she cried. You'd have thought she did it because she was kindhearted as hell, but I was sitting right next to her, and she wasn't. She had this little kid with her that was bored as hell and had to go to the bathroom, but she wouldn't take him. She kept telling him to sit still and behave himself. She was about as kindhearted as a goddam wolf. You take somebody that cries their goddam eyes out over phony stuff in the movies, and nine times out of ten they're mean bastards at heart. I'm not kidding.
  • I swear if there's ever another war, they better just take me out and stick me in front of a firing squad. I wouldn't object.

Chapter 19

  • These intellectual guys don't like to have an intellectual conversation with you unless they're running the whole thing. They always want you to shut up when they shut up, and go back to your room when they go back to their room.

Chapter 20

  • Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody.

Chapter 22

She was right, though. It is "If a body meet a body coming through the rye." I didn't know it then, though...
  • I'm not too sure old Phoebe knew what the hell I was talking about. I mean she's only a little child and all. But she was listening, at least. If somebody at least listens, it's not too bad.
  • "You know that song 'If a body catch a body comin' through the rye'? I'd like — "
    "It's 'If a body meet a body coming through the rye'!" old Phoebe said. "It's a poem. By Robert Burns."
    "I know it's a poem by Robert Burns."
    She was right, though. It is "If a body meet a body coming through the rye." I didn't know it then, though.
    "I thought it was 'If a body catch a body,'" I said. "Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy."

Chapter 24

  • It's nice when somebody tells you about their uncle. Especially when they start out telling you about their father's farm and then all of a sudden get more interested in their uncle. I mean it's dirty to keep yelling 'Digression!' at him when he's all nice and excited. I don't know. It's hard to explain.
  • What I mean is, lots of time you don't know what interests you most till you start talking about something that doesn't interest you most. I mean you can't help it sometimes. What I think is, you're supposed to leave somebody alone if he's at least being interesting and he's getting all excited about something. I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It's nice. You just didn't know this teacher, Mr. Vinson. He could drive you crazy sometimes, him and the goddam class. I mean he'd keep telling you to unify and simplify all the time. Some things you just can't do that to. I mean you can't hardly ever simplify and unify something just because somebody wants you to.
  • I don't hate too many guys. What I may do, I may hate them for a little while, like this guy Stradlater I knew at Pencey, and this other boy, Robert Ackley. I hated them once in a while — I admit it — but it doesn't last too long, is what I mean. After a while, if I didn't see them, if they didn't come in the room, or if I didn't see them in the dining room for a couple of meals, I sort of missed them. I mean I sort of missed them.
Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them — if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.
  • Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them — if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.
    • Said by Mr. Antolini

Chapter 25

  • I figured I could get a job at a filling station somewhere, putting gas and oil in people's cars. I didn't care what kind of job it was, though. Just so people didn't know me and I didn't know anybody. I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life. Everybody'd think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard and they'd leave me alone.
  • That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write "Fuck you" right under your nose. Try it sometime. I think, even, if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetery, and I have a tombstone and all, it'll say "Holden Caulfield" on it, and then what year I was born and what year I died, and then right under that it'll say "Fuck you." I'm positive, in fact.

Chapter 26

Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
  • D.B. asked me what I thought about all this stuff I just finished telling you about. I didn't know what the hell to say. If you want to know the truth, I don't know what I think about it. I'm sorry I told so many people about it. About all I know is, I sort of miss everybody I told about. Even old Stradlater and Ackley, for instance. I think I even miss that goddam Maurice. It's funny. Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

External links

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The Catcher in the Rye is a novel by author J. D. Salinger.[1] It was first published in 1951.[1]

The book is about a young man, Holden Caulfield, who travels home after being expelled from an exclusive preparatory school. Instead of going directly home, Caulfield takes a wandering trip, thinking about what he wants to tell his family, and how best to deal with being kicked out of school. Caulfield narrates the story himself, to a psychoanalyst. (Hints are made as the story moves forward, that he is in a mental hospital by the time of the book, for attempting suicide.)

The book contains many profanities, and many people do not like the book for that reason. It was banned in many places. Other people see the profanity as Caulfield's way of showing his feelings of frustration with life. Many young people, boys in particular, relate to the story and its language, and feel that Caulfield would understand them if he knew them. For this reason, many schools require their students to read it.

References








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