Lost Salinger

I had just begun to understand the style and line of thought of Salinger. I even enjoyed reading the Laughing Man as a story. I also noticed that Salinger’s descriptions of the way people stood or sat were repetitive. Such as: his hands in his hip pockets, she crossed her long legs, uncrossing her legs.  After all there only finitely many ways that someone could sit or stand. And there is something going into and out of the pocket in almost every story.  But did he describe facial expressions?…mmm… less so, not anything that struck me. ‘Just before the war with Eskimos’ was good reading but i did’nt quite understand the connection between the title of the story and the story.  ‘For Esme-with love and squalor’ was both interesting and crisp. And then i started ‘Pretty mouth and Green my eyes’ while on the subway to Itaewon and lost interest and patience. The gray haired man remains without a name even half way through the story which is where i had to get down to shop.  The story had yet to take shape and meaning.  I shopped, had coffee and was at the station when i realised that i had lost the book. I ran back to the ticket counter and the coffee shop but in vain. 

The book chose to stay away from an unappreciative reader. The stories of Salinger have to be reread to get to know the characters, the circumstance and the underlying theme. I came across this link which has short summaries of each story and praises almost everyone of them. For instance it has this to say about ‘Just before the war with Eskimos’, “Rich in metaphor, this piece is as much allegory as short-story. With significance instilled in every word, and symbolism stacked upon symbolism, it demands a slow and careful read”    

Not my cup of tea.

But there is a lingering quality to his stories.

There is this site where pages of Salinger’s collection can be read online.

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