"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around—nobody big, I mean—except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy."
Perhaps you don't recognize the picture of this man in his earlier years. Perhaps you wouldn't recognize one of him taken two days ago, either. What you would recognize is his name. This unfamiliar face is that of Jerome David Salinger, better known as J.D. Salinger.
J. D. Salinger died yesterday at the age of 91.
Sure, you may not care much, but I really felt I wanted... needed... to write something... anything.... about it.
Most famous for Catcher and the Rye, Salinger was highly criticized for some of his works. He was called crazy, insane, inappropriate. Some of his works were just downright depressing. However, they were acclaimed as brilliant, inspiring, and deeply thought provoking by so many others. Now, I'm not saying he needed the often harsh words to get his point across, but I am saying that he had a fantastic mind that he shared with the world through his literature, and for that thousands upon thousands have been (and will continue to be) impacted through.
"It's everybody, I mean. Everything everybody does is so--I don't know--not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid, necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless--and sad-making. And the worst part is, if you go bohemian or something crazy like that, you're conforming just as much as everybody else, only in a different way." -Franny and Zooey
"Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you'll start missing everybody."
"Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them — if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry."
You should pick up and read something by him. If Catcher and the Rye is not your taste, I understand. Franney and Zooey is a fantastic piece of literature. Some of his short stories, like For Esme - With Love, are the best works of prose out there. Whatever your opinion is on the man, I respect that.
He has left us with a little piece of his mind and soul in each and every one of his stories.
And as of now, that is all we have left of him.
I pray he is with our Savior in heaven, revealing to all deceased believers the wonders of the new iPad.