The Catcher in the Rye

I read  ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ about ten years ago being a cult classic and was not particularly impressed with it at the first read being one of the literary greats of our time. However, after seeing the film about Salingers life I understood his work much more. It is made out of bits and pieces of his own life as well as pure fiction and was then woven into one brilliant whole by his pen and his craftmanship. He brought his message home to his audience about the life and mind of a troubled youth in a big city in modern times; the city in question being New York. After achieving huge success with his book he was then tormented by fans who were gripped by his tale and who identified with the main character. He was then forced to withdraw to seclusion and the countryside where he tried to write again, but eventually the pressure became so extreme that he had to stop writing altogether. His experiences during war time severely traumatised him as well and he turned to meditation and eastern philosophy to help him overcome this nightmare of life and death and human tradegedy. His mentor in writing and original teacher also played a big role in his work and his part is played by the actor Kevin Spacey. One learns a lot from his story such as not writing merely to show off one’s talent, but rather to express the thoughts and feelings that is in your heart. It is also made clear in the film that publishing and success is not everything, but being true to yourself and your art is indeed. I can recommend both the film and the book to any reader wanting to become a writer. Adversity breeds character and love conquers all.      

Comments