"Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man." -- Heidegger
i just read it, and can't for the life of me figure out if she liked it or not...
I think she did, overall. "Old Dwight's book really knocked me out..." at the end kind of settled it for me. But I can't figure out why she wrote the review as Holden Caulfield. Actually, I kind of wish we could put Catcher in the Rye to bed. Isn't it time? Or at least to agree to stop talking about it after we're, say, 25? I loved the book, don't get me wrong, but I also loved sugar and butter sandwiches, playing for three hours on dirt mounds at construction sites, and checking out seventh graders.
Wow, I'd be PISSED if someone reviewed my book like that. Even if it is generally positive, it's as belittling as a pat on the head; draws all attention to the writer (Kakutani) and away from the author.
but hell, it'll probably get people to remember the book, which is good for the author, dorky as it may be of mk to have written it that way. as for putting catcher in the rye to rest in general, i'll have to disagree, grendel. i still pull it out, for guidance and inspiration, and reread the whole thing a few years ago and was struck by how much more there is to it than i realized in seventh grade. i mean, it's no raise high the roofbeam, carpenters, but what is?
There's a profile of the author in the current Poets & Writers (the one with James Baldwin on the cover). Just as with this review, when I read the P&W profile, I was at first annoyed by the concept of the book, but as I read more about the author and the book, it seems as if he manages to pull it off well. Also, he went to Deep Springs College, which is that place that boys with high SAT scores are invited to apply. The few who get in spend two years working on a ranch by day and being intellectual in their free hours, before going on to a regular college. I've always wanted to know someone who went there. Not that I know B. Kunkel. Word.
I guess maybe I should reread it as an adult before spouting off about it. And maybe I'm actually more annoyed at "the voice" as it has been taken up by various writers since Salinger wrote that book. I suppose I shouldn't hold that against him. Similar thing with Huck Finn, which I did just reread a few weeks ago and loved more than ever, so there you go.But MK... I think she needs a vacation.
I think I have to concur with your original post, Grendel. Time to put Catcher away. I read it as an adult and found it insufferable. Maybe if I'd read it in high school like everyone else, I'd feel differently, but I don't think so.I got the feeling that Kakutami didn't like the book at all. But really, the review was annoying as hell, so maybe I'm misreading it.
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