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par J. D. Salinger
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Some of these stories are much much better than others, but as I am now rereading these at an older age, it’s clear Salinger was a total master of story writing. Some of these stories reveal a great, preternatural understanding of childhood, truly like an emotionally savantish 8 year old had transmitted her understandings into Salinger’s brain. Others reveal a great awareness of our world’s many infinite one-way boulevards. (And the less effective stories try and basically fail to cope with this.)
To me the strongest stories are “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” and “For Esmé - with Love and Squalor,” both of which are basically perfect stories. They are in my all-time great class alongside a couple James Joyce stories, a couple by Alice Munro, and maybe one or two of Kafka’s pieces. Maybe a couple others but that’s what’s coming to mind right now. (Edit: forgot Borges)
Also very strong are “Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut,” “The Laughing Man,” “Down at the Dinghy,” and “De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period.” The closing line of the first story is a classic, and who can forget that “tout le monde est une nonne”? “The Laughing Man” is impressively grotesque and is maybe the clearest bridging point between Salinger’s earlier stories that are more childlike and pained and his later stories that are more desperate and seeking.
But I don’t mean to say that the remaining three (“Just Before the War with the Eskimos,” “Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes,” and “Teddy”) are weak, because I did think they were all pretty good stories, although each for different reasons. The first story was kind of closer to a Catcher in the Rye-ish sort of realism: a brief injection into the lifestreams of some (wealthy) 1940s New Yorkers tinged with strange subterranean hopefulness. The latter two seemed rather more cynical and exasperated, even if “Teddy” tried to deny it / work around it. Teddy was himself an interesting character, if maybe a little goofy.
Love it, wish there was more, hope someday more get published. I am glad to have found later on that my younger self was able to spot such great writing, just because it’s always such a shame when you revisit old stuff you liked and find it totally over sentimental or boring or just plain shite for some reason or another. Salinger is great.
I just absolutely love his writing. It's my very favorite in the world. He nails the dialogue every time, and his characters are so charming and realistic. I can't say enough, I just love J.D. Salinger. Every one of his books. Especially these stories.
Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut - I can't put my finger on why I like reading these stories, since the characters are so unlikeable and/or depressing. I think I really just like the dialogue. These stories are probably too adult for middle school. In this one a housewife seems very depressed, and still mourns her dead ex-boyfriend.
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The Catcher in the Rye / Franny and Zooey / Nine Stories / Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters par J. D. Salinger
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Neuf courtes nouvelles ou plutôt quelques contes de fées modernes écrits entre 1948 et 1953. Humour, tendresse et même cocasserie s'y retrouvent en pleine fantaisie avec, par exemple, "Un jour rêvé pour le poisson-banane" ou "Oncle déglingué au Connecticut". Bon portrait de l'auteur en préface.
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Classification décimale de Melvil (CDD)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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Hachette Book Group
3 éditions de ce livre ont été publiées par Hachette Book Group.
Éditions: 0316769509, 0316767727, 0316769568
Une édition de ce livre a été publiée par Penguin Australia.
My favorite of the stories was "Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes" about a husband and wife with terrible trust issues. The husband calls his good friend when his wife doesn't come home one night and the conversation doesn't go as one might expect.
"For Esme - With Love and Squalor" also really captured my imagination when a military man meets a precocious and perceptive young girl in a cafe, and she promises to keep in touch. Very moving. "The Laughing Man" is also terrific as a young man and coach relates a story to his team as he falls in love himself.
Salinger has an amazing way with dialogue and always assumes his reader is intelligent. I was definitely sorry this book wasn't Seventeen Stories . . .