I came across some sad news today. Beloved author and incredibly influential person in my life has passed away, J.D. Salinger.
I remember reading “Catcher in the Rye” in English class at Schaumburg High School, and instantly falling in love with Salinger’s prose. His insight and understanding of the bewildering hell that is adolescence was unparalleled by any other author I had ever read, or have since read. Since then, I have made an effort to read every Salinger story I could get my hands on, digging through the New Yorker’s archives to find non-anthologized stories, scanning library shelves for books, all of which resounded deeply inside me. I particularly loved “Raise High the Roof Beams”, and “Seymour, an Introduction”. I re-read “Raise High…” recently, and found it just as touching, strangely disturbing, yet uplifting at the same time? Having already read “Bananafish”, knowing Seymour would commit suicide, it was like seeing Wayne’s World 2, then the original Wayne’s World after. I’ll always retain the mental image of Buddy mixing Tom Collinses in the kitchen, surreptitiously sipping the gin as he prepares the drink tray, as it would surely help take the edge off such cruel situation. I’ve certainly wished I could do the same on many an occasion!