because of mr. salinger
i briefly stopped in a bookstore today after hearing about the death of author j.d. salinger. as i was browsing through the literature section and finding classics which i'm desperate to read, i began to notice something i never really had before.
many authors have one great book. one. however, more often than not that one great book defined something that no one else has defined or spoken to any better since the words were first placed on the page.
for salinger his great work was (and is) the catcher in the rye; for wilde it was the portrait of dorian gray; for ms. alcott it was little women. the list could go on...
of course i'm not suggesting that this is true of all authors, but there are quite a few who have only one work that stood the test of time.
it makes me wonder about those authors. salinger became a recluse and i wonder if he wrote. it's hard for me to imagine a writer who didn't write. but i wonder. i wonder if he knew he wrote his masterpiece, if he thought he contributed everything he could to society and decided not to put anything else out there.
it makes me wonder who he really was for all those years.
somewhat ironically, i just read the catcher in the rye for the first time about 2 months ago. it saddened me. it saddened me not because it was simply a sad story, but because of how much symbolic truth salinger wrapped in its pages.
the catcher in the rye is all about belonging - holden caulfield didn't belong. he didn't have anywhere to go. he was alone in the world.
just like so many teenagers. just like so many people. for many acceptance is elusive. salinger captures this in such a haunting way. despite the sorrow of this truth it renews my strength in humanity. so often people concentrate on the differences. but we all want acceptance. we all want to belong somewhere. even though we ARE very different from each other we're also very much the same.
we're all created
in the image of GOD.