DUD and JR40, Salinger and Fitzgerald are two of my favorite authors. lol Funny how art is so subjective. But I respect your opinions. I adore both of those writers, with a sense of far-away kinships, like lost cousins. The Great Gatsby
--and I've avoided all of the films as I would busy hornets' nests so as not to endure the painful stings of seeing my vivid imagination relegated to the flatness of Technicolor--has, literally, not one wasted line, not one missed beat. Every line, every paragraph, every page contributes to the whole. None of it could be removed and still convey the story. And to do it all from Nick's perspective rather than that of Gatsby--it's heaven!
For any Salinger fan (and it appears there are none here...lol), I have a tip. He has three unpublished stories, one of which, The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls
, being a prequel to Catcher
, that Mr. Salinger did not want published until 60 years after his death (purportedly). They are housed at Princeton's archives. Well, some "academic" gained access, hand-copied them, then typed and posted them on the internet. Scandalous this past winter, but then the hoo ha died, and they are still online. (Please don't shoot the messenger, i.e. me). So, if that bothers someone, they can wait until 2070 when it's officially published. In the meantime, the three short stories are here.
For anyone who wishes to appreciate Salinger's writing (rather than only the titillation surrounding his reclusiveness and penchant for young women), grab some chips and a Coke and listen to this fascinating 22-minute summary of his style and contribution to American literature from the always articulate Adam Gopnik, of The New Yorker
, on Charlie Rose. At one point, soup and ginny, Mr. Gopnik compares the voice of Holden Caulfield to that of Huck Finn. At 8:40 minutes, Mr. Gopnik reads a description of Mrs. Glass from Franny
that is literary genius.
JR40, I do like Steinbeck, too. His writing is quite straightforward, but moves along, great pace and atmosphere. I just read The Pearl
about six months ago. Sweet in every way. The message that what we desire may not be, in the end, what we really want in life. I have never read The Grapes of Wrath
, but as you find it a book that you often come back to, I will now read it at some point.
Ginny, I love the whip-smart attitude of Junot Diaz. So authentic. I read Wao
when it came out three years ago--I have to re-read it again. It was lovely. I'll have to brush up on my "Spanglish" first.
God, this is so interesting to see what everyone is reading. Everything from Typee
by Melville to cowboy poems. I'm learning so much.