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by J. D. Salinger

"You know what I'd like to be?" I said. "You know what I'd like to be? I mean if I had my goddam choice?"

"What? Stop swearing."

"You know that song 'If a body catch a body comin' through the rye'?

I'd like--"

 "It's 'If a body meet a body coming through the rye'!" old Phoebe

said. "It's a poem. By Robert Burns."

"I know it's a poem by Robert Burns."

She was right, though. It is "If a body meet a body coming through the rye." I didn't know it then, though.

"I thought it was 'If a body catch a body,'" I said.

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.

Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around--nobody big, I mean--except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.

What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff--I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.

That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.

I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy."


The whole title and jist of the book is about

Holden Caulfield wanting to save children from falling off the cliff of life and dying.

The book takes you back to your childhood and adolescence

and the angst (fear or anxiety) and also the confusion or craziness

of growing up, in a world of adults and school children.

I saw the movie Salinger last night and was really moved.

I was supposed to read The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger in my high school english class, but I never

really got into it or understood it, until seeing the movie Salinger.

Salinger didn't want anything to do with a phoney famous celebrity life so when his novel The Catcher In The Rye became a bestseller

in 1951 he became a hermit in the mountains of New Hampshire.

He practiced meditation and had buddhist statues in his yard,

besides studying the Vedanta religion. His life became a tribute to

being in the world but not of it, a life of renunciation and

dedication to his karma yoga; writing.

He said it's better not to publish, just to write, so he published nothing after his

novel and left an estate to publish his latest works after his death.

He was raised in the jewish religion having a bar mitzvah, but his

mother was catholic and of irish, scottish and german ancestry.

He loved his mother and dedicated his novel to her.


Mark Chapman based his killing of John Lennon on The Catcher

In The Rye saying that Lennon was a phoney.

How he gets that the book advocates killing phonies is beyond me, since Holden

Caulfield only wanted to catch children in the rye before they fell off the cliff.

The shooter of Reagan also justified his act on the book as did the shooter of the Pope.



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