“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 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.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
These great lines pull you in, and you cannot help thinking: Holden really knows something, maybe even the meaning of it all, and yes, wouldn’t it be nice to be like him, to be the catcher in the rye?
Perhaps, we already are like Holden, even if we don’t fully realize it.
“Brad Gooch, the author of Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, argues that O’Connor’s issue with Holden Caulfield is “the naiveté of his savior complex.” … Holden is at the center of his own world, and everything revolves around him. … Under the edgy surface of his coolness, Holden is a selfish boy who can’t see himself as he really is.”
So, what is the iconic quote from “The Catcher” about?
- A selfless desire to serve others?
- Man’s selfish refusal to acknowledge his own brokenness?
- The dangers of human beings positioning themselves as saviors?
All of the above?
What does Salinger say to you?
Share in the comments. And if you’ve enjoyed the post, do press “like” and “share” buttons — thank you.
Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Children Playing Ball (Enfants jouant à la balle), c. 1900. Lithograph in color on laid paper, Overall: 28 7/8 x 24 in. (73.3 x 60.9 cm)Image: 23 5/8 x 20 1/16 in. (60 x 51 cm). BF493. Public Domain.
- “…the song — it’s not important that anybody knows the genesis of it, because if the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity.” — Leonard Cohen, CBC Radio Interview (August 26, 1995).
If you do want to know the genesis of “Dance Me To The End Of Love” — here it is.
- “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”
— C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
- Does your website have DA (domain authority)? Find out using this free tool. Don’t get discouraged if your DA is low, or even absent — the new year has just begun! Among the factors that increase DA (and chances of Google finding you) is your site’s age. Keep at it.
Image credit: Vincent van Gogh. Houses and Figure, 1890. Oil on canvas, Overall: 20 1/2 x 15 15/16 in. (52 x 40.5 cm). BF136. Public Domain.
Attention, poets! Have you written, and published, poems that form a sequence when brought together? You might be eligible for the $20,000 Four Quartets Prize. No entry fee. Deadline: December 22, 2017. Submit.
“…poetry is and has been, from its beginnings, not about being cool or mysterious or sad or “deep,” but about the health of the human spirit, which cannot be healthy without xenia (hospitality), cannot be healthy when it denies the inner life, or the outer life, cannot be healthy when it denies the past, or the present, or the future, when it denies life, or death, the visible, or the invisible. The healthy soul, like the gracious host, must welcome every stranger.” — Read Ryan Wilson’s “How To Think Like a Poet”
A free monthly photo contest from childphotocompetition.com. This month’s theme is “Laughter & Smile” — submit your black and white, and color photos, and win!
Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Girl with Pink Bonnet (Jeune fille au chapeau rose), 1894. Oil on canvas, Overall: 16 5/16 x 13 in. (41.5 x 33 cm). BF118. Public Domain.
Want to write a guest post for Indies Unlimited? Read this.
“But your poems are rather hard to understand, whereas your paintings are so easy.
Of course — you paint flowers and girls and sunsets; things that everybody understands.
I never met him.
Find out who the poet/painter is.
Do you pity yourself? Bully yourself? Choose to be free:
Attention, American-born poets. Would you like to travel for a year, write poetry, and receive $58K? Check out the details on Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship.
“Messy Fun.” Child Photo Competition’s Free Monthly Photo Contest is OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS, but HURRY: deadline Sept. 30th. Send your pics of “kids playing with mud, food, and everything that makes a mess.”
“…I think there’s value in translating all kinds of things –really popular literature, things that have something to say that might be what I call a brave failure, a book that is trying to do so many things, but it might not quite get there. What it’s doing is important, even if it’s not a literary masterpiece to stand aside all others.” — Dr. Karen Emmerich
Elise Holland, editor of 2 Elizabeths, a short fiction and poetry publication, shares five of the most frequent questions she’s asked. See the questions, and answers.
To write or not to write by hand? Are you a laptop person, or a “fountain pen and leather-wrap journal” person? See/join a discussion.
“And when the flood waters come, and all pretenses are washed away, we’re left with how things are supposed to work, how they naturally are. And it’s a beautiful sight.”
“What I advise you to do is, not to be unhappy before the crisis comes; since it may be that the dangers before which you paled as if they were threatening you, will never come upon you; they certainly have not yet come.” — Seneca, “On Groundless Fears”
Check out this list of contests with September deadlines compiled by The Masters Review.
Find out why I write poetry.
Check out these poetry contests with a deadline of August, 31.
Free Photo Contest, deadline August, 31. Hurry.
“And then, of course, the biggest crime of all was that she had come here only five years ago from Earth, and she remembered the sun and the way the sun was and the sky was when she was four in Ohio. And they, they had been on Venus all their lives, and they had been only two years old when last the sun came out and had long since forgotten the color and heat of it and the way it really was.
But Margot remembered.”
— Ray Bradbury, “All Summer in a Day”
Want to start earning money writing poetry? Check out these tips from Erika Dreifus.
A cool poetry contest to honor San Antonio’s Tricentennial. Don’t miss.
“The temptation towards resolution, towards wrapping up the package, seems to me a terrible trap. Why not be more honest with the moment? The most authentic endings are the ones which are already revolving towards another beginning. That’s genius. Somebody told me once that fugue means to flee, so that Bach’s melody lines are like he’s running away.” — The Art of Theater No. 12 with Sam Shepard (1943–2017)
“Don’t panic, because everything is probably all right, and if it’s not, panicking will make it worse.”
— From “The One Memory of Flora Banks” by Emily Barr
An exhilarating read, equally enjoyed by both my sixteen-year-old daughter and my–going on forty five–self.