Thursday, February 4, 2010

J.D. Salinger - 1954

"You know, I'm the only one in this family who has no problems," Zooey said. "And you know why? Because any time I'm feeling blue, or puzzled, what I do, I just invite a few people to come visit me in the bathroom, and -- well, we just iron things out together, that's all."

This appeared in The New Yorker in 1954, and was the second part of Franny and Zooey by the time I read it in the '70s. This story, that book... I can't say enough about them. Along with Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters and Just Before the War With the Eskimos: pivotal to my understanding of and desire for life.

I thought that more glorious noise would have been made about Salinger's death -- front-page banner headlines, I suppose. Yes, the world is a mess. But we just lost the only major writer of my lifetime (even if he didn't actually write when I could read).