Holden Caulfield that is, star of The Catcher in the Rye. I’m not old enough or mature enough yet to renounce my love of this book. It’s my favourite book. But reading this review of The Catcher in the Rye today disturbed me. He’s not deep, she argues; his version of deep is to dismiss the whole world as phony and have a nervous breakdown. If you think that’s profound you’re still adolescent.
Actually, I’m not going to leap to the defence of Holden. I haven’t the energy. But I think I will be horrified if, like the reviewer Kathy, I ever get to the point of renouncing Holden and everything that book has meant to me over the years.
The last time I re-read it in 2005 I had finally come out of an adolescent posture of defying the whole world, and I still loved it. It’s not just profound, Catcher in the Rye, it’s also beautiful and funny, and that counts even if you think you’ve outgrown Holden’s ‘phony’ insights.
Maybe it’s time to read again. See if I’ve grown up yet.