Silent men

December 6, 2010

So I liked Holden better by the end. I found him a little more self-aware at the end of Catcher in the Rye than at the beginning. Not much, but a little.

At the same time I was reading Paul Auster’s new Sunset Park. Loved Auster’s work in The New York Trilogy and now that I see that my library has a few more novels I’ll have to explore more widely. But I was struck by this passage:

“…when she thinks of that generation of silent men, the boys who lived through the Depression and grew up to become soldiers or not-soldiers in the war, she doesn’t blame them for refusing to talk, for not wanting to go back into the past, but how curious it is, she thinks, how sublimely incoherent that her generation, which doesn’t have much of anything to talk about yet, has produced men who never stop talking…whereas with the silent men, the old men, the ones who are nearly gone now, she would give anything to hear what they have to say.”

I loved it deeply. I think it captures the malaise of our time (and Holden’s?) perfectly.

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Holden

December 3, 2010

So my 11th TBR book is The Catcher in the Rye. I think the true measure of Salinger’s genius is that I’m enjoying the book even though Holden Caulfield is the biggest prick in literature.