Friday, 5 June 2009

His middle name was Morrissey

Hmm, yes, well. Everyone who knows me knows I don't read much fiction - I find real life much more fascinating and entertaining than anything dreamt up by an author*.

But when I read 'Catcher' it struck a chord with me, and I would consider it one of my favourite novels of all time. In the article, Rohrer states that "Plot is in short supply. The Catcher in the Rye is a novel where not very much happens."

Tru dat. But for me the novel is not about the plot, it is about Holden Caulfield. Nothing more, nothing less. And Caulfield speaks to me, alarmingly so - so many times I found myself reading a passage and thinking "Christ, yes, this is so true!". Don't worry Holden, I hate phoneys just as much as you do.

But I also think that Holden is a young man who's been burnt by love. There seemed throughout that there was a underlying longing that existed within him, despite the bravado and the rebel nature. I also find it fascinating just how much he loves his sister, and the responsibility that he feels regarding her. Whenever I think of the book, I always think about the bit where he is outraged about the crude language that someone had sprayed onto a wall by his sister's school.
I don't think Holden Caulfield is a bad person - sure, he's self-centred, and he moans and he whines. But I think every male can recognise something in Holden Caulfield that they can recognise in themselves - and that's what has made the novel successful. Fuck the fact that nothing really happens, the book is a character study - and a damn good one at that.

Back me up here, Merciless.

* I still quite haven't worked out why I chose English Lit!

1 comment:

  1. Hallo. Catcher In The Rye is the best book ever. I read quite a lot of fiction and, as Ewar points out, it really struck a chord with me. I read it when I just left school after my teacher, Mr Cole - the best teacher I ever had, to be honest -, named it as his favourite book ever. Mr Cole was from Tipton, and if someone from Tipton likes a book it has to be really special. Reading it as a 16 year old I loved it, there were moments where I thought, again like Ewar, 'that's what I'd do.'
    The relationship he has with his teacher at the start also struck a chord with me because I had a really good time being taught by Mr Cole and I, still even now, kind of miss it. Recently when I visited Mr Cole we had a conversation about whether it was the best book ever. It is.
    When I think about the book, I always think about the carousel scene with Holden and Phoebe because its quite a tender moment in an emotionally fuelled novel.
    I have a copy that was about £4 from Asda but its possibly my most cherished possession. I'd seriously kill for a first edition.