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Friday, January 29, 2010

Dr. Frank on JD Salinger

Posted by Alison Hallett on Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Frank Portman wrote a really fantastic YA book called King Dork, whose protagonist absolutely loathes Catcher in the Rye. Now here's Portman, reflecting on the book in the Huffington Post:

I've had a complex, ambivalent relationship with the book ever since, and I've remained skeptical about icons. In fact, I'd say that The Catcher in the Rye's duties as a massive cultural symbol, its status as the supposed ultimate depiction of teenage angst, have tended to upstage and crowd out the narrative itself, which has quite a lot going for it as a plain old character study apart from all that icon stuff. I didn't even notice that till I learned to stop thinking of it primarily as "angst therapy" that didn't happen to work particularly well on me. In my defense, that is pretty much how we were encouraged to think of it, and all other approved books, and everything else. But everything doesn't have to be angst therapy. Angst therapy is, I eventually realized, pretty dull. I guess that's growing up, sort of.

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