Friday, January 29, 2010

J.D. Salinger, RIP

By now, pretty much everything that can be said about the death of JD Salinger has been said, but I'm going to weigh in with my 0.02c, anyway.

I didn't like The Catcher In the Rye.

Not the first time I read it, anyway (aged 12 - got to roughly chapter 4, from memory).

Nor the second. (aged 16, read about half)

Nor the third. (18, for uni. Finished but didn't really see what all the fuss was about.)

But about five years ago, as part of my early research for my PhD, aged 32, I read it again, for the fourth time.

And it rocked my world.

The Catcher in the Rye changed the way I think about my writing. It changed the way I think about the people I write for, the people I write about, and the reasons I write. I have no idea why it took so long for me and that book to 'click' with one another, but I know for certain that it's one of the few books that fundamentally shifted my perspective on almost everything. How many books can you say that about?

Rest in Peace, JDS.

(and here is a brilliant obituary written by those too-clever-by-half folk at The Onion)

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