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The Catcher in the Rye (1951) - J.D. Salinger

Related: banned books - 1900s literature - youth culture - 1951 - American literature

The Catcher in the Rye covers the 48 hours in Holden's life after being kicked out of Pencey Prep, right before the Christmas holidays, circa 1949. Having already been kicked out of other schools and not wanting to face his parents, he decides to set off and spend a few days alone in New York City after visiting the only teacher he's ever trusted. [Aug 2006]

The Catcher in the Rye (1951) - J.D. Salinger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Description

The Catcher in the Rye is a novel by J. D. Salinger. First published in the United States in 1951, the novel remains controversial to this day; it was the 13th most frequently challenged book of the 1990s, according to the American Library Association. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, it has become one of the most famous literary works of the 20th century, and a common part of high-school curricula across the United States and Canada.

Its protagonist, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage angst. The book, written in the first person, relates Holden's experiences in New York City in the days after he runs away from his University-preparatory school Pencey Prep. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Catcher_in_the_Rye [Aug 2006]

Controversy

The Catcher in the Rye has been shrouded in controversy since its publication. Reasons for banning have been the use of offensive language, premarital sex, alcohol abuse, and prostitution.

Mark David Chapman, murderer of musician John Lennon, was carrying the book when he was arrested immediately after the murder and referred to it in his statement to police shortly thereafter.[2] John Hinckley, Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was also reported to have been obsessed with the book.

Critics see Holden as a disturbing influence on youths they consider to be "social outcasts." Holden is portrayed as a juvenile who rejects and is rejected by many peers and individuals. People like Chapman and Hinckley come to relate themselves to Holden, the person that nobody understands and that can't understand anybody else.

Thirty years after its first publication in 1951, The Catcher in the Rye was both the most banned book in America as well as the second most taught book in public schools. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Catcher_in_the_Rye#Controversy [Aug 2006]

From Amazon

Amazon.com
Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins,

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."

His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description
The classic 1951 novel by J.D. Salinger is analyzed.

The title, J.D. Salingerís The Catcher in the Rye, presents the most important 20th-century criticism on J.D. Salingerís The Catcher in the Rye through extracts of critical essays by well-known literary critics. This collection of criticism also features a short biography on J.D. Salinger, a chronology of the authorís life, and an introductory essay written by Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the Humanities, Yale University. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. --via Amazon.com

J. D. Salinger (1919 - )

Jerome David Salinger (born January 1, 1919) is an American author best known for The Catcher in the Rye, a classic coming-of-age story that has enjoyed enduring popularity since its publication in 1951. A major theme in Salinger's work is the agile and powerful mind of disturbed young men, and the redemptive capacity of children in the lives of such men. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._D._Salinger [Aug 2005]

Plot

The book covers the 48 hours in Holden's life after being kicked out of Pencey Prep, right before the Christmas holidays, circa 1949. Having already been kicked out of other schools and not wanting to face his parents, he decides to set off and spend a few days alone in New York City after visiting the only teacher he's ever trusted. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Catcher_in_the_Rye#Plot_Summary [Aug 2005]

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