Re: alsen's "reader's guide to j d salinger"

From: Will Hochman <>
Date: Thu Jan 09 2003 - 10:49:54 EST

Kim, Yes, I have been reading Eberhard Alsen's A Reader's Guide to
J.D. Salinger. I think it's a book focused on high school readers
because the chapters address categories like "Critical Reception,"
"Narrative Structure and Point of View," "Characterization and
Style," "Settings and Symbols" and "Themes and Interpretations." I'm
not wild about how the this book will work for the young folks
reading Salinger since the book's structure really tries to break
down Salinger's work and life in some pretty formal and standard
ways. Normally, I enjoy such literary concerns and good scholarship,
and it's good that someone is updating French's work, but I keep
thinking about how students will use this text as I read it and I'm
not sure it will do much to increase the experience of "love and
squalor" in Salinger's fiction. I'm not finished with the book yet,
so please understand that this is not my final evaluation of the
book. Also, from what I can tell so far, Alsen has really done a good
job compiling what is known about Salinger and his work, and I
haven't found much to disagree with...will

	Will Hochman
Associate Professor of English
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent St, New Haven, CT 06515
203 392 5024
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Received on Thu Jan 9 10:49:56 2003

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