It’s been almost a week since J.D. Salinger died and in that time I’ve literally had scores of conversations about the author and his iconic book. They ranged from one of the most important authors in American literature to it was a guy’s bookÂ and he said goddamn too much. Now Cobert weighs in with a sketch he did recently where he gave a typical Cobert pat on the back. Cobert commended Salinger for being famous and nothing else which in this day is an amazing feat. Watch the Cobert video by clicking here. Cobert and Salinger had something quite in common -neither would be called by their first name.
Iâ€™m sure my experience with â€œThe Catcher in the Ryeâ€ by J.D. SalingerÂ is not unsimilar to millions of other young men and women who came of age in the 1950â€™s and 60s. When Sister Ann ElizabethÂ announced to our English class we were going to read â€œThe Catcher in the Ryeâ€ we were all pretty excited. Weâ€™d heard about the book and the â€œwordâ€.
When the paperback books were handed out to us, even the cover seemed dark and broody and maybe even a little sexual with a young man walking briskly into the city and a young woman off to the side and up to no good. There was that cocky backward baseball cap. See how cool Holden is million of young men still follow his lead.
The blurb on the cover was even enticing: â€œThis unusual book may shock you, it will make you laugh and may break your heart but you will never forget it.â€ We were hooked.
Most of us immediately paged through the book looking for the â€œwordâ€ which at some point the entire class talked about. I think Sister Ann Elizabeth said it was an acronymÂ for For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Iâ€™m not sure I believed that then or now. Most of us had read the book by the next morning and we were ready for a class onÂ the first adult book we could talk about in public and it was an experience I will never forget. We even talked about the significance of Holdenâ€™s red scarf on the cover. Later, when I learned more about Salinger I felt his own life was a mirror of Holden Caulfield, but we were never to know since he became an unrepentant recluse. Hopefully, his estate will have an opportunity to publish any manuscripts he may have left behind. In case youâ€™re wondering the word was on page-naw you find it yourself-if itâ€™s even there. Last week, I was talking with Jamie Agnew, a used book dealerÂ in Ann Arbor Michigan, and he said Salingerâ€™s â€œThe Catcher in the Ryeâ€ is one of those few books that todayâ€™s high school students read voluntarily. He also mentioned Kerouac and Burroughs. Salingerâ€™s death may even create a greater demand for his books especially his others such as â€œFranny and Zooeyâ€ which most readers never got to. Local used bookstore owner was happily reporting Catcher was flying off the shelf and he wished he had more.