The Catcher in the Rye: Salinger

  Salinger died at home on January 27, 2010 at the age of 91. After nearly 60 years of seclusion, he finally “hidden” completely. However, his reputation will not fade away, and his “The Catcher in the Rye” will not fade away. Until now, this book still has a wide range of Readers, annual sales of 250,000 copies, bestsellers. And the writer can live in seclusion for more than half a century without worry about food and clothing, mostly relying on the royalties of this book.
  Salinger was born in New York in 1919 to a wealthy Jewish businessman. At the age of 15, he entered a military academy. After graduation, he studied at three universities, but did not receive a degree. During high school and college he contributed to several literary magazines, wrote some film reviews, and published his first novel in 1940. Enlisted in the army in 1942, he worked as a counterintelligence agent in European intelligence until the end of World War II. After returning to New York from demobilization in 1946, he became a freelance writer and began a real writing career, mainly contributing to The New Yorker. He has a soft spot for teenage growth stories, and his own shadow can be seen in the protagonists of his novels. In 1951, “The Catcher in the Rye” was published and caused a sensation among the readers, mainly college and high school students. Its cultural and artistic value was soon widely recognized. writer. The Catcher in the Rye was his only full-length novel, followed by Nine Stories (1953), Franny and Zoe (1961) and Raise the Beams, The Carpenter They; Seymour: A Biography (1963) and other three collections of novels. His last published novel was a 25,000-word novella published in The New Yorker in 1965.
  The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951, at a time when the “beats” were on the rise. After the end of World War II, war novels created using traditional realistic art methods were once popular in the American literary world, but soon the Cold War began, and the McCarthyist anti-communist movement emerged, and progressive cultural people were subjected to political persecution. The system formed the “Silent Age” in the American literary world. However, some people, especially the younger generation, are not used to this false Taoism that whitewashes reality, and challenged the old tradition, so the “Beat Generation” and its literature were born. “The Catcher in the Rye” is one of the best works that reflects and depicts this rebellious spirit.
  The protagonist of the novel, Holden Caulfield, is a 16-year-old middle school student who was born into a middle-class family and, like most children from wealthy families, was sent to the historic and prestigious Pansy Prep School by his parents for education. In this prestigious school, which advertises its goal of cultivating outstanding young people, what Holden, who is naturally sensitive, can see and hear, except for hypocrisy, it is a lie. The students are vulgar and have no ideals, and women, alcohol and sex are their greatest passions. Holden, who hangs around here, is extremely distressed, and he especially disapproves of the socially accepted model of success—getting an education from a prestigious school, finding a good job, and then enjoying life. At the end of the semester, Holden failed four subjects and was expelled from the school. In order to avoid the scolding from his parents, he spent a day and two nights wandering in New York, witnessed many ugly acts, and came into contact with more hypocrites of all kinds. He was stunned to find that even the teacher he respected was a prude, maybe even a homosexual. Holden completely “indulged” in New York. He went to nightclubs, smoked, drank and even called prostitutes. This indulgence not only did not relieve his inner pain, but intensified his loneliness. When she found that society was eroding the innocent world of children, she desperately decided to break with this filthy and hypocritical world, and went to the west to find a pure land and live a secluded life, but he was soberly aware that he had no way to escape. Finally, he returned to his parents and was sent to a mental hospital for depression.
  The title of the book comes from a daydream of the protagonist Holden: He dreamed that he was watching a group of children run and play in a wheat field on the edge of a cliff. Fearing that the child would fall off the cliff, he imagined himself watching under the cliff in order to catch the falling child. Of course, he didn’t want to do this just to be a hero.
  The novel adopts the first-person narrative technique and follows the genre of the homeless novel, allowing Holden to use the unique colloquial vocabulary of teenagers to tell the bizarre New York experience, express the true feelings, and convey the anguish and emptiness of the rebellious youth in the “Silent Age”. Loneliness exposes the hypocrisy and degeneration of American society in the 1950s when material pursuits expanded and spiritual life shrank. The novel is sharp and sharp, not only pulling the heartstrings of young people, but also being loved by adults.
  Holden is a very representative image of a mild and anti-traditional youth in American literature. He is willing to sink, not disciplined, not studying hard, arguing with classmates, fighting, full of swearing, opening his mouth to “fuck”, and shutting his mouth ” bastard”. Although full of foul language and misbehaving, he is not bad by nature. It is not like the “Beat Generation” in the later period, which used extreme methods such as drug addiction and indulgence to go against tradition. He cared for his sister more than his younger children, and for the health and safety of his children, he dreamed of being a catcher in the rye. In order to save the children’s innocent hearts from contamination, he wiped off the foul language on the wall, which was in stark contrast to his own habit of swearing. Perhaps it is precisely because of the protagonist’s human-like kindness and contradictory speech and behavior that “The Catcher in the Rye” has become a best-seller in British and American schools, and Holden has become an idol for young people. For a time, imitating Holden’s dress and behavior became the fashion of the youth of that era. Holden looks at life from a precocious perspective, consciously resists the mainstream society that suppresses human nature, and confronts the powerful society with a small individual, sending out the voice of a generation of young people. But the hardships, twists and turns, loneliness and anguish he experienced in the rebellion had a shocking tragic color. Holden’s deviance became the forerunner of the “Beat Generation” anti-traditional movement, and the image of the watchman also profoundly influenced the novel creation of later generations.
  When Salinger’s reputation was growing, and he stirred up the mood of generations of American youth, he retreated bravely and chose to withdraw from the public eye since 1953. He bought more than ninety acres of land in the New Hampshire countryside, built a hut on a hilltop, and lived a secluded life. After returning to the mountains, he refused to be interviewed by reporters and rarely went out. The more he did, the more mysterious and curious he became. So for decades, reporters or his fans have been “sneaking” into his secluded town of Nikos to inquire about news, expecting to get bits and pieces of his creation or life, but most of them came back without success. It is already a good achievement to reach the back of Salinger. What Salinger didn’t expect (or did?) was that he became more famous for not wanting to be famous.
  Salinger stayed out of the spotlight, but he and his “Catch in the Rye” were never forgotten. In the decades after the novel was published, it has been continuously rated as one of the best novels of the 20th century by various institutions, and has become a novel used as a textbook in almost all middle schools in the United States, and its best-selling is not bad. Of course, there have also been reports of parents asking the school to ban “The Catcher in the Rye” because they thought the language of the book was too vulgar. Salinger himself has had no shortage of news over the decades, but most of it is not about his work, but about his relentless pursuit of young girls. Although reclusive, Salinger is not isolated from the world. At the age of 53, when he saw the photos and articles of Maynard, an 18-year-old girl, in a magazine, he was so moved that he wrote to Maynard to express his love (Salinger had married his second wife in 1966). divorce). As a result, the first-year Yale student gave up his studies after a period of correspondence with him and moved in with him, and the two broke up after 10 months because Salinger refused to have children with Maynard. . In 1999, Maynard published a book about their love history, and auctioned off Salinger’s love letter to her, causing a public outcry. At 62, he wrote to an actress he saw on TV, and the 36-year-old was similarly flattered and soon moved in with him. Of course, his relationships or marriages are far more than that, and his daughter, Margaret, revealed in 2000 that he had mostly bad attitudes towards his women. In addition, his news also comes from lawsuits, which he has fought more than once to defend his rights and others, bringing lawsuits against writers and publishers who published his letters and continued his works without his authorization.
  Some people say that he has never stopped writing, and some people say that he has written manuscripts for more than a dozen books, all of which are hidden in the safe. But it is true that he has not published anything since 1965. Some people say that he is trying to increase his prestige, and some people say that he has not written a word, and it is simply Jiang Lang who has exhausted it. In 1974, he broke his silence and told a reporter from The New York Times, “I write for my own pleasure, and I publish too much attention. I don’t want the public to interfere with my private life.” Perhaps this is why he chose to live in seclusion and the real answer to no longer publish work?
  Salinger went, but it was too early to tell what kind of person he was. An escapist hermit? A Zen saint? A bohemian genius? A teenage lover? A woman abuser? Maybe all, maybe not.
  Salinger went, but “The Catcher in the Rye” still exudes the light of thought and art. His keen observation of the spirit of the times and careful excavation of the predicament of life accurately and truly express the voice of a generation.
  It is not known whether Salinger actually left unpublished manuscripts, and if so, how he explained it. With his passing, new attention must be paid to his work, and if there are manuscripts in his safe, we expect them to be made public and once again shock the world.

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