A Reader's Companion to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye

A Reader's Companion to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye

Language: English

Pages: 292

ISBN: 1603810137

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This second edition of Peter G. Beidler's Readers Companion builds on the success of the first edition. It will be an indispensable guide for teachers, students, and general readers who want fully to appreciate Salinger's perennial bestseller. Now six decades old, The Catcher in the Rye contains references to people, places, books, movies, and historical events that will puzzle many twenty-first century readers. This edition includes a new section on reactions to Salinger's death in January, 2010. Beidler provides some 250 explanations to help readers make sense of the culture through which Holden Caulfield stumbles as he comes of age. He provides a map showing the various stops in Holden's Manhattan odyssey. Of particular interest to readers whose native language is not English is his glossary of more than a hundred terms, phrases, and slang expressions. In his introductory essay, "Catching The Catcher in the Rye," Beidler discusses such topics as the three-day time line for the novel, the way the novel grew out of two earlier-published short stories, the extent to which the novel is autobiographical, what Holden looks like, and the reasons for the enduring appeal of the novel. The many photographs in the Reader's Companion give fascinating glimpses into the world that Holden has made famous. Beidler also provides discussion of some of the issues that have engaged scholars down through the years: the meaning of Holden's red hunting hat, whether Holden writes his novel in an insane asylum, Mr. Antolini's troubling actions, and Holden's close relationship with his sister and his two brothers.











in the Rye, which gives him some clues about his father’s mysterious death many years earlier. Most of King Dork is about the adventures of young Henderson: his getting beaten up by the “normal” students, his starting a band with a friend named Sam Hellerman, his conflicts with his mother and his teachers, his sexual experiences with two high school girls, and so on. Even though Portman was unquestionably influenced as a writer by Salinger’s novel, and even though he has Sam Henderson at the end

400-page novel about a young woman from South Bend, Indiana, who gets a scholarship to an exclusive preparatory school named Ault School, not far from Boston. While the novel is apparently based to some extent on Sittenfeld’s own experiences at Groton, it shows a more-than-coincidental knowledge of The Catcher in the Rye. The novel’s first-person narrator, Lee Fiora, doesn’t fit in well with most of her classmates, but she manages to negotiate her way successfully in her new world of teachers,

the friendless. He respects those who are humble, loyal, and kind. He demonstrates a strong love for his family. He abhors hypocrisy. He values sex that comes from caring for another person and rejects its sordidness” (“Censorship in the Schools: What’s Moral about The Catcher in the Rye,” English Journal 72 [1983]: 42). —Ian Hamilton: “The Catcher in the Rye exercises a unique seductive power—not just for new young readers who discover it, but also for the million or so original admirers like

Buddy Singer’s poor old beat-up clarinet player was really terrific when he stood up and took a couple of ice-cold hot licks” (74–75). In jazz terminology, a “hot lick” is an instrumental solo, probably improvised by the player. A “cold hot lick” is a solo by someone trying to sound good, but failing miserably—because of bad music, bad improvisation, or bad performance. Clearly, Holden is less impressed with the improvisation than Marty is. licorice stick “She called his clarinet a ‘licorice

Long Island and “bought a sandwich that he didn’t eat and a cup of coffee” (New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995, p. 168), an incident that may have suggested the one in which the distraught Holden, upset by what he takes to be a “flitty” pass by Mr. Antolini, orders doughnuts and a cup of coffee but can’t eat the doughnuts (196). The scene in which Gatsby’s body is buried, almost unattended, in the rain (see p. 183 in the Scribner edition) may have suggested the scene in which family

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