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The Phony World and the Nice World by Warren French

MLA Citation:

French, Warren G. “The Phony World and the Nice World.” Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature 4.1 (1963): 21-30. Print.

First Paragraphwisconsin journal for french uw article:

“Just as one inspecting real estate must seek some central promontory from which to get the lay of the land, so the critic trying to get an author’s work into perspective seeks some central document that provides a focal point from which the others must be viewed.  Since the work on any considerable writer is, furthermore, likely to embody a complexity of subtly insinuated themes rather than to reiterate a single, baldly stated idea, more than one of his works may serve as a center for organizing a study of his achievement.  So far comprehensive evaluations of J.D. Salinger’s work have been built around two short stories; I propose to utilize a third.”

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A Note on Salinger’s Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut by Martin J. LaHood

MLA Citation:

LaHood, Martin J.  “A Note on Salinger’s ‘Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut.'” Revue des Langues Vivantes, 33 (1967), 567-598.

Sublette’s Synopsis:

“LaHood demonstrates that Eloise ‘has become an unhappy and cynical human being’ because her vision of an idealistic ‘make-believe’ world has been replaced by the harsh reality of ‘blind fate.'”

Zen and Nine Stories by Bernice and Sanford Goldstein

MLA Citation:

Goldstein, Bernice and Goldstein, Sanford. “Zen and Nine Stories.”. Renascence: Essays on Value in Literature: 22. (1970), pp. 171-82.

Publisher’s Abstract:

“Because Salinger has prefixed to Nine stories as a Zen koan, the Zen element in these stories ought to be investigated.  The attempt to solve a koan (for example, the sound of one hand clapping) may lead, among several possibilities, to insanity or enlightenment.  Thus one approach to Nine Stories is an examination of these two extremes of the koan experience.  In such stories as “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut,” “The Laughing Man,” and “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” the destructive element is uppermost.  In “For Esme – With Love and Squalor” and “De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period,” the positive element of enlightenment.  Since children come closest to the Zen experience (Teddy, for example), Salinger’s focus on children in these stories serves to sharpen differences between the enlightened and non-enlightened, the logical and illogical, the spontaneous and self-conscious.  The rational adult world confronted by impossible choice (by koan) may react in a logically rational though destructive way, but the world of the child has perhaps not yet reached the stage where dichotomies prevent full immersion in each confronted moment.”

Coles Notes – J. D. Salinger: Catcher in the Rye & Nine Stories

Publication Information:

Coles, Editorial Board. J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories. Toronto: Coles, 2000. Print.

Summary:

Coles Notes are similar to Cliff’s Notes, in that they give a general synopsis of a work, a list of primary characters, and an abbreviated section on critical resource material.

This volume contains a short biographical and bibliographical essay on Salinger, some background on The Catcher in the Rye, a plot summary for The Catcher in the Rye, a list of characters in the novel, and a chapter-by chapter summary with commentary.

It also contains sections on plot, character, and meaning in The Catcher in the Rye, a few pages on the style of the novel, and then Miller and Heiserman’s article, “J.D. Salinger:  Some Crazy Cliff.”

Next, there is an introduction to Nine Stories, and a synopsis of each of the stories, followed by a sample of critical articles, Stevensen’s article “J.D. Salinger:  The Mirror of Crisis,” and then a list of suggested study topics and a short list of bibliographical resources.

Reader’s Guide – “Teddy”

Thanks to Brian McTague for contributing the bulk of this content for the “Teddy” Reader’s Guide.

Publication Details:

Published in The New Yorker January 31, 1953, pages 26-34, 36, 38, 40-41, 44-45.

Later published in Nine Stories, Little, Brown, 1953.

Character List:

Teddy McArdle – child genius, philosopher, and spiritual guru.  At ten years old he keeps a meticulous diary, has speaking engagements all over the country, and keeps up very sophisticated correspondence with academic and spiritual figures.

Mr. McArdle – Teddy’s father.  A radio actor.

Mrs. McArdle – Teddy’s mother.

Booper McArdle – Teddy’s surly younger sister

Bob Nicholson – a fellow passenger on the ship the McArdles are traveling on, he’s heard one of Teddy’s tapes and is fascinated with the boy.

Myron – a young boy on the ship to whom Booper is cruel.

Plot Synopsis:

Teddy, his parents, and his little sister are traveling by ship, returning from an engagement at Oxford and another at Edinburgh, where Teddy met with people to discuss spiritual and academic topics.  The story opens with Teddy in his family’s cabin, his father speaking crossly to him, and his mother languishing in bed.  Teddy updates his diary, noting many things he needs to do, including correspondence with several individuals, and things he can do to make his family happier.  In true Salinger style, Teddy is an exceptional child, and very intellectually advanced.  Unlike the other children in Salinger’s work, Teddy is also very spiritually advanced, having studied Vedantic thought.  He believes he is the reincarnation of an Indian man who had reached an advanced state of enlightenment, but had ceased to reach true enlightenment because of a woman.

Teddy encounters another passenger on the boat, a young academic named Bob, who had heard one of Teddy’s tapes.  Nicholson and Teddy have a very in-depth conversation about spirituality.  In this conversation, Teddy shares his own spiritual beliefs, and expresses the belief that a fear of death is silly.  When one dies it is meant to happen.  He (seemingly offhandedly) mentions that if his sister happened to push him into an empty pool and his head were to crack and he died right away that nobody should be sad because if it happened, it was supposed to happen.

Teddy leaves to go to his swimming listen, and Bob follows behind and from the stairway hears a high-pitched scream, described to be like the scream of a small girl child.

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Reader’s Guide – “Franny”

This reader’s guide was contributed by Leslie Gleue.  Thanks, Leslie!

Publication Details:

First published in The New Yorker on January 29,  1955 – pages 24-32, 35-43.  Later published in the same book as “Zooey” in a volume called Franny and Zooey, which was published by Little, Brown in the Fall of 1961.

Character List:

Franny Glass – a young college student traveling to visit her boyfriend for “the Yale game.”  Franny is the youngest of the Glass family’s children.
Lane Coutell – Franny’s boyfriend

Plot Synopsis:

Franny travels by train to meet her boyfriend, Lane, for a fun weekend of football and friends.  Things seem off when they meet at the platform, and they decide to go to a restaurant that is popular with the intellectual crowd.  Franny is nervous and out of sorts, chain-smoking and barely eating.  Lane tries to have a “normal” conversation with her, but she is distracted.  Lane gets insulted at several different points of the conversation.  She excuses herself to go the restroom, and comes back feeling better.  She finally tells him about a book she’s carrying with her, called “The Way of the Pilgrim.”  It’s about a man who travels travels to master the art of continuous prayer through something called the Jesus Prayer.  To do this, one repeats “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me, a sinner” over and over until it becomes a part of their very breath and heartbeat.  This appeals to Franny, because it represents purification.  Lane is bored by this and discounts the idea.  Franny gets up to go to the bathroom again, and faints.  When she comes to, Lane suggests that she get some rest.  She stares at the ceiling, silently repeating the Jesus Prayer.

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Readers Guide – “Hapworth 16, 1924”

Reader’s Guide kindly contributed by Kathy Gabriel.  Thanks, Kathy!

Publication Details

Published in the The New Yorker, June 19, 1965, pages 32-113

Plot Summary

Buddy Glass, age 46 transcribes a letter written by his older brother Seymour at the age of seven, when both boys were attending summer camp at Camp Simon Hapworth. Seymour provides an emotional account of their time at Camp Hapworth interspersed with condescending advice to his family and rants on religion and literature in nearly 30,000 words. It was Salinger’s first and only published work after “Seymour: An Introduction.”

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J.D. Salinger by James Lundquist

MLA Citation:

Lundquist, James. J.D. Salinger. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1979. Print.

First Paragraph:

“This is 1979, and it has been twenty-eight years since Holden Caulfield dragged his deer-hunting cap and his prep-school heart through Manhattan.  But J.D. Salinger’s ideas on the true and the false in American culture, his religious solutions to the crises of alienation and isolation, and his overriding sentimentality may have had more impact on the American brainscape than anyone yet has taken into account.  Since the publication of a long story, ‘Hapworth 16, 1924,’ in The New Yorker in 1965, Salinger has maintained a silence that has turned him into the Howard Hughes of American Literature.  But Salinger’s lasting significance has no declined.  The startling thing for many of us to realize is that the confidential ravings of Holden Caulfield, the enigma of Seymour Glass’s suicide, and the pathetic pragmatism of the Jesus Prayer embraced by Franny Glass, remain part of our consciousness – and it is not just simply nostalgia for that time in the 1950s and early 1960s when Salinger’s characters provided just about the only voices that did not sound phony.  As a whole new generation of readers indicates the appeal of his work is enduring.   His influence remains, and we cannot get around it, perhaps cannot get over it.”

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J.D. Salinger, Revisited by Warren French

MLA Citation:

French, Warren. J.D. Salinger, Revisted. Boston: Twayne, 1988. Print.

First Paragraph:

“The irony of the title of this book is that nobody visits J.D. Salinger at all without a rarely extended invitation, and certainly the least likely recipient of one would be a professional literary critic. Like many authors, Salinger feels that what he has to say can be found in his books and that readers need no outside guidance, although the tragic behavior of Mark David Chapman (John Lennon’s assassin) might suggest otherwise. (Chapman inaccurately cited Catcher in the Rye at his sentencing to justify his actions {see Chapter Three, n. 13}.) Anyway, I bring no news about Salinger himself, as I will be revisiting only the writings he has with increasing reluctance committed to print.”

from the Preface, page ix

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J.D. Salinger by Warren French

MLA Citation:

French, Warren. JDSalinger. New York: Twayne, 1963.

First Paragraph:

When the original edition of this book about J. D. Salinger appeared in 1963, I think no one could have foretold that that year marked the climax of the productivity of what George Steiner has called the “Salinger Industry.”  I raced to complete my study before scholarly competitors published theirs, for i had read announcements that at least a dozen other studies were being prepared. None of these has appeared within the twelve years that has passed, and this book remains the only study of much more than fifty pages that examines from a single viewpoint Salinger’s major work. However, five sizable collections of essays and an issue of Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature devoted to Salinger, did appear during 1962 and 1963.

from the Preface (non-paginated)

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