Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Catcher in the Rye

"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 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." ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 22, spoken by the character Holden Caulfield

I can't even express how this quote affected me when I first read it years ago. I felt a certain loss, I remember. For me, it's been among the most memorable images in literature, at least from what I've read so far. My pops revisits this book at least once a year.

I also read somewhere that it's Robert Smith's favorite book. órale! (What up with these definitions and examples? Mensos.)

4 comments:

Van said...

yeah, i wrote a whole treatment for a film based on that exact quote (at least, what i thought to be a treatment back then in the tenth grade)! i vaguely recall my version involving balloons or kites or something. silly girl. i still have the old tore up, underlined, dogeared copy of that book somewhere around here. salinger will always, always be the writer who moved me first and most indelibly. glad for the revisit.

Manuel Paul Lopez said...

Balloons and kites! I would've loved to have read it. Have you ever contacted your teacher to let her know how well you're doing?

The book I kept in my back pocket in high school was Ask the Dust by John Fante. The movie's a large turd, though. They got it all wrong. Man, o man, how I thought I was a Chicano Bandini.

Out!

He Who Hails To The Thief said...

holden's intentions are good, but he sure can suck the fun out of a room--if he was real, of course.

EurisaGrinkov said...

tsk tsk that Holden.