Happy End of 2012: Holden Caulfield's a Whiner

Monday, December 31, 2012 | 3 Comment(s)

I'm going out with a bang.

After that whole circumcision piece, i have that wonderful feeling you get from over-sharing with the interwebs (when it doesn't involve nudie pics).  And.  Well.  I'm going to go out on a limb once again, but this time, it's a "classy admission".  As opposed to "crude admissions" regarding smelly gasses and bodily fluids, classy admissions involve insensitive taste buds and not knowing the difference between Monet and Manet (pleeb).  And this classy admission could change our blogger-bloggee relationship.  Forever.
Deep breath.
Here we go.

Catcher In The Rye didn't speak to me.  I mean, I could follow it.  It was an engaging story.  But Holden just didn't epitomize an innermost piece of me.  His battle against the phonies never hit home for me when combines with his own, let's say, somewhat jerky, personality .  And I know that angst goes a long way in literature, and that a good 75% of you are all like "Are you KIDDING me!! Catcher in THE RYE!  It's like the best book ever.  EVER.  It's just.  just.  so . . . "  and then you make the noise that equates to your own idea of ineffability.   A noise where, in the background, you can hear the fire escape ladders being drawn up from the townhouses.  And look people.   I'm not arguing with you.  You are, in fact, the majority.

That said.  Listen very closely to the following words: Catcher in the Rye is not one of my favorite books.   Not even in my top ten.  (top five in no order: The Power of One, The Phantom Tollbooth, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Lamb, & The Calvin & Hobbes Treasury.)  Caulfield isn't even in the field.  He's kind of a whiner.  I'm just saying.

Perhaps it's because i didn't really go through my angry teens until i was 25.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my idea of "rebel punk music" includes Blink-182 and Green Day.  But my rage simply didn't match up with the immortal H.C.'s.   You know whose angst i TOTALLY related to as a kid?  Paul.  From the Wonder Years.  Now there is childhood angst.  You want slightly older.   I'll take Angela Chase 8 days a week.

If there is one take away point from this, it's that i liked to watch t.v. as a kid way more than i enjoyed reading.

But, if there is a second point, it's that i could have ended the year with a pithy little fluff piece about Fluff, or an in depth look at the magical anatomy of the unicorn.   I could have sat here and written about how JD Salinger's masterpiece Catcher In The Rye opened me up to the possibilities available to a writer, and that it was ok for a book's character to reflect a point of view counter to the accepted norm.  I could have expounded about how Holden typified how a book could be used as an amazing vehicle for expressing the anger and the difficulty of life from a variety of viewpoints.

But no one like's a phony.

So long 2012, it's been real.


  1. was underlining book titles drilled into by going to school for too long?

  2. yes. absolutely. i actually wrote the first few paragraphs and italicized the book title, and then was like, "come on matt, you know that's wrong." And changed it.

  3. which is interesting, because you don't care much about spelling. although you do seem to care about punctuation. so there's that.

    linguistiscs nerd out!