"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Thursday, January 28, 2010


RIP J.D. Salinger. The man who wrote Franny and Zooey, Raise High the Roofbeams Carpenters, and Seymour, An Introduction, Nine Stories *and* The Catcher in the Rye has died.

I guess you can tell his most famous was my least favorite. Maybe its appeal -- and its story of a disaffected wealthy kid on the outs with his boarding school -- were somewhat dated, like its language. It seemed like pretty tame stuff when I read it in high school, even more so now. I wonder how much cool language affects what we think about what we read. Maybe Catcher is suffering from the same syndrome that keeps most readers away from book written before 1940 or so. Unfamiliar language syndrome?

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