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Monday, August 8, 2011

Franny and Zooey


Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger, is highly Salingeresque.  What I mean by that is his characters are not quite fatally flawed, yet they are damaged--Franny can't make it through a date with her boyfriend Lane for reasons we can't decipher.  They are not transparent, but their motives are intriguing yet still logical--Zooey is forever effected (and he can't quite understand the depth of it although he understand the effect exists) by the loss of his two older brothers, one by abandonment and one by suicide.  Their problems are deep, yet they are young and clear--Franny's problem is that of a young woman searching for herself and her understanding of life and faith.
My favorite literary device (if one can call it that) is Salinger's profuse and bountiful use of the italics mid-word.   It's so ridiculous and pedantic to not take liberties with the American grammar system.  I can't begin to understand why you wouldn't love the absolutely necessary need for emphasis on particular words and portions of sentences.  I in particularly adored it.
What's not to love about Salinger?  He was a writer with depth and an abiding love of the English language and he uses it.  He writes full yet damaged characters that you can't help but want to sit next to on the couch and wrap your arms around.  Salinger dedicates his novella then writes to his editors that he hopes they accept this small piece of writing he is passing off as a novel--and I beg to differ with him.  No need to pass this off; it is perfection as it stands.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, this is one of my favorite books. It is comforting to read and re-read.