Monday, July 16, 2012

On this date in 1951...

On this date in 1951, the Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger was published.

The main character, Holden Caulfield, made earlier appearances in a few of Salinger's short stories, sold as many as ten years before this book.

It has held the distinction of being both the most censored and second most taught book in public schools. It is among the top ten most challenged books. A teacher was fired in 1960 for assigning it.

It is rife with teenage rebellion, expletives, drinking, implied homosexuality, smoking and sex.

While not really a coming-of-age novel, there is debate on whether Holden Caulfield matures at all throughout the story. Some believe he does not while others believe that he reaches a new level of self-awareness.

I read this book in college and remember very little of it. I remember that Holden was somewhat of a misanthrope, whiny punk. I was relatively unimpressed. I may read it again at some point, benefiting from my adult perspective. Perhaps I will see more than surface writing the second time around.

No comments:

Post a Comment