Friday, 2 September 2011

Literature Love // JD Salinger

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We've been catching up on reading after our busy birthday week. This week Rhi picked up JD Salinger's Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters & Seymour an Introduction...

I was a little dubious to begin with after the slight disappointment of Catcher the Rye (which dare we say is a little overrated and a bit self-indulgent?) - however JD certainly redeems himself with 'Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters...', in his typical stream-of-consciousness narrative style, the first novella follows Buddy Glass as he heads to New York to attend his brother's wedding day.

Never have I been more taken by a character than I was by the little old uncle in the top hat. To begin with, a silent enigmatic soul, tucked in the corner of a car full of the bride's relatives as secrets and stories are revealed, seemingly oblivious to the scenario unfurling around him. However as the tale progresses and you learn that he is not introvertedly ignorant but in fact deaf-mute and exceptionally thrilled to be invited away from the car with the guests as they seek refreshment and refuge from the heat. I couldn't help but smile at every mention of him from then on, simply charming. The rest of the story, in my opinion, is totally in the shadow of the character of sweet little uncle...

Seymour an Introduction is also brilliant, beautifully heartfelt and amusing as Buddy pours his soul out with tales of his elder brother, who he idolised and was a source of everlasting inspiration in his writing career. Any story that starts with a quote from Kafka is a winner in my eyes, and one of my new all time favourite literary quotes is now "Please accept from me this unpretentious bouquet of very early-blooming parentheses: (((())))." So delightfully clever... Though it must be said, in pictorial form...

Highly recommend a flick through this. I'm sold on Salinger now - keen to get into his other works (though our 'to read' piles are going to start towering over us soon!)

Much love
Rhi xx

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