Saturday, January 30, 2010

I had a J.D. Salinger phase.

I had a phase when I very much liked J.D. Salinger, though I preferred his short stories to Catcher in Rye.  The story about the banana fish where Seymour Glass shots himself had such an impact on me that I read it over and over again trying to get clues for why he shot himself.  I suppose the reasons could be found in Catcher in the Rye, but I found the novel to be a bore.  The Caufeld kid just wasn't very "cool".  I also recall wanting so much to emulate another child from the Glass family who was reading a newspaper in the tub.  Salinger had him read in a tub in a cool way -- the water was so impressively filled to the very brim of the tub's edge; the Glass child seemingly experiencing ecstasies of nonchalant eccentricity.

But I then I discovered Conservatism and Rush Limbaugh.  Limbaugh's message of pick yourself up, and start all over again, did get me out the self-pitying phase I was in my late teens and  early twenties.  But the damage my Salinger phase has done to my life will probably never be overcame.  While I am now a father, have a great wife, and handsome child, I wasted so much time at that crucial point of my life.  I am doing now what I should have done fifteen to twenty years ago.

Here is David Warren's take. From Warren, I see I can blame Salinger for my too-long adolescence.  It serves me right, but I hope Jenny and Tony don't suffer unduly.

1 comment:

Orient Express said...

I want to set-up an Australian chapter of the Conservative Caucus.