“Digression!” (or 10 things I love about The Catcher In The Rye)

by jenniferbalboa


1.  It is nice to read aloud.

2.  I find it funny how Holden always said stuff like, “no kidding”, or “I’m not kidding!”, or “really!”. It’s as if he’s always worried that nobody would believe him, or take him seriously.

3.  I am certain that it will never become a movie. Hmmm, I don’t know, I read somewhere ages ago that Salinger made some sort of will stating that he prohibits the book’s adaptation into a movie. Not that I do not want the book to be turned into a film, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I just like the certainty – because that would keep me from being anxious about who should direct, or play Holden, or make the music, or when I’ll ever get to see it. At least now I know I’ll never see it as a movie. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love how it will always be like this little movie in my head, and free to be cast by me. I used to think a young Leonardo DiCaprio, fresh from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? and Total Eclipse, would make a good Holden. Yeah, well, there’s that will thing. And Leo’s all grown up now.

4.  I learned about it from Kurt Cobain, whom I read say that it was his favorite book. I was in high school, and the book was not even part of our English readings. I sought it on my own, and eventually, whenever I would encounter anyone who would say that he does not like to read really, I referred the book. And always, always, I get them to read it. And all the time, those non-readers loved it.

5.  It is made up of some classic killer lines. I won’t even enumerate them here. Going through the book, you’d feel like highlighting the whole thing.

6.  Holden does not deliberately attempt to make sense of things, or conclude. He can leave a thought hanging. Do I remember that right? Yeah. I guess.

7.  The Catcher In The Rye is a Bible of ironies –

8.  – and of unforgettable images. Phoebe’s red hunting hat which you can see from a mile away because no one misses that red hunting hat. Jane’s teardrop on the chessboard. Young men’s dormitories. New York City.

9.  It’s brave. Revolutionary when it first came out. And it paved the way for its kindred voices who dared to be (and all at the same time) wry and raging and cynical and cranky and mocking and aching and blue and true.

10. It’s true.