Salinger And Cinema
Ten movies inspired by the famously anti-Hollywood author
The author is of course, J.D. Salinger, who passed away Wednesday at the age of 91, a man who held his work, "The Catcher in the Rye," "Franny and Zooey" and all of his stories (save for "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut," which was made into a 1949 movie entitled "My Foolish Heart," and one that reportedly caused great consternation and unhappiness with Salinger) under firm anti-Hollywood lock and key. And yet, Salinger's Garbo-like elusiveness and impossible adaptations have never stopped legions of filmmakers from being influenced by both the work and the man. From direct inspiration of story, character and theme, to quick but telling references, to compelling (or syrupy) speeches, to conspiracy theories, here's a look at Salinger in cinema.
Please read my ten picks of famous Salinger moments in film.
That being said, does anyone think Salinger appreciated the irony of "coming of age" being applied to Catcher? That's gotta be the greatest double-entendre of all time! The Man Who Never Laughed had to have, at least, smiled at that. Rest In Pieces, J.D.
I see many great comments on The Catcher in the Rye in this series of blogs, some idiotic comments as well. But we all know there are fools among us who will not listen no matter what is said by whom. As another great writer once said many times, "So it goes . . . ."
The title is the first important point to note in this novel, the very words any reader sees before opening the book. Holden wants to be the catcher in the rye so he can protect the children as they play on the child's playground, a grassy field, and save them from falling over the edge, off the cliff, symbolic of falling from childhood into adulthood. Holden has already fallen off the cliff, and it has hurt; he has fallen hard. He is trying to save the children from the cruel and inhumanity of becoming adults. Remain children and play out your play periods on the "Echoing Green," a poem created by William Blake, forever remaining innocent and playful and unaffected by the adult world.
Salinger is alluding to Blake's poem. The echoing green is a child's playground, and to leave it is to become an adult. Was Salinger aware of Blake? You betcha!
Could it be some event like this caused him to become such a recluse?
"Fall and Rise of Jimmy Don Clyde"
So... you know this book well, do you? I never hear any mention of the superb humor, or of the tragedy of neglect of a young man who obviously has become lost in the fray of his family's grief in dealing with the death of their young son. Holden is simply the product of neglect (unintentional, or symptomatic of the era?), overlooked by grieving parents, and his own despair and depression are due to the fact that no one obviously considered the help that he needed in dealing with the loss of his sibling (typical of the era, I'm sure). Holden is lost, and is found again at the end, and as he watches Phoebe on the carousel, he no longer needs to be "the catcher in the rye," to keep other little people from meeting the same fate as Allie, thus tearing his life apart. He realizes that Phoebe is still here, that she lives, and that it's okay for him to go on living, too, and that he's found a reason to -- she needs him. Phoebe needs him, but needs him to be okay, then he realizes that he needs himself to be okay.
I am teaching this book right now for at least the twentieth time, and the profound moments are as fresh and profound to me today as they were, maybe more so, than when I first read it in high school. There's always a new layer to peel back. I love this book!
I read that book over 40 years ago..It's a classic..Many cannot think in the depth required to
comprehend its full import..Too bad though,,because they are precisely the ones who need
that degree of understanding to allow them to "GET IT"..Have a nice day..