Re: Catcher part II?!

Subject: Re: Catcher part II?!
From: Jim Rovira (
Date: Wed Jan 02 2002 - 13:15:03 GMT

Yeah, Tim, that's a good idea...writing the events of Catcher from the
perspective of other characters. I think one way of getting around the
fact that no one besides Holden is in the story very long would be to write
it as a series of short stories -- do Stradlater, Ackley, Antolini, hooker,
Phoebe, etc., chapters, one after the other in the order that Holden
encountered them, perhaps using that device to depict changes in Holden
over the course of the narrative :). That'd be interesting if well done.

I agree with you that one reason why Salinger couldn't conceive of writing
a sequel may be that the thing is complete and makes its statement as it
stands. But isn't that also a revelation of the limitations of Salinger's
own perspectives? It might just be a limitation of fiction period -- it
was easier to draw a living, active Satan than an appealing, eternal,
unchanging God even in Paradise Lost. The journey is always easier to
depict than the arrival...or life beyond the arrival. "And they lived
happily ever after" ends stories that end in a marriage...but you know real
marriage isn't like that :). Even good ones.

If Holden was teeaged in the late 40s/early 50s/ that means he'd be in his
late 20s/30s in the 60s. We'd have to imagine a young adult, professional
Holden living through the sixties. Then a middle aged Holden in the
70s/early 80s. An older gentleman Holden in the 80s/90s -- these days.
Ugh :)

What would Holden have become? Suppose he worked out his angst in the
institution and went on to teach English somewhere (I can see Holden
becoming a Buddy type if he grew up...maybe...given his interests in High
School), working in a college in the 60s? Holden the eternal outsider
would be facing the anger and rebellion of outsiders in the late 60s. I
don't know :). No matter what, it would have been a different Holden,
different story, probably not one Salinger would tell. I think you're
right, Tim, Holden is stuck in his time.

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