The Catcher in the Rye: Holden Caulfield

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This is where I do some gender-bending.  I’ll admit I was a bit out of my depth here.  The eyebrows? To five-o-clock shadow or not to five-o-clock shadow? (I obviously went with the latter, as I have no facial hair tricks up my sleeve other than the old coffee grounds method—-not terribly realistic.) There was also a great deal of debating over how a male would hold a cigarette.  In short, I have very little knowledge about being a dude.

So here it is: Holden in the red hunting cap, chain-smoking (as usual), still in prep school tie and oxford, pondering where the ducks in Central Park go in the winter, or whether Jane Gallagher still keeps all her kings in the back row, or why everyone is a goddamn phony.

While Holden is escaping school, I’m heading out to it for the second residency of my MFA program.  Readings will be attended.  Writing will be workshopped.  Lectures will be held.  Swooning over the collected talent will be (hopefully) kept to a respectable minimum.  And then I’ll return with a new list of required reads to play with here on A Lit.eral Interpretation.

In the spirit of good literature and good writing, I’ll leave you with this quote from Mr. Antolini’s conversation with Holden near the end of the novel:

“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.”


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