Thursday, December 02, 2004

READ: Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

I recently re-read Nine Stories again because I couldn't find my copy of Franny and Zooey, my favorite Salinger book. I had the urge to read something that was set in New York city, and I love the way Salinger portrays the city in the pre-50's era. I first read Salinger's collection of short stories back in my teens. I thought I had read every one of those nine stories, but it turns out that I missed out on one, "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period."

It was a great pleasure to read this story, and it's become my favorite one out of all the whole lot. Most of it takes place in Montreal (what is it with me and Canada? Enough already! It's not like I'm deliberately trying to like everything linked to that country). The protagonist is a 19-year-old guy reminiscent of Holden Caulfield except wittier, funnier, and more sophisticated. This character just absolutely delighted me. Maybe because I have this curious fascination with the psyche of post-adolescent boys.

This story combines all the things I love: traveling, art, living with foreigners, New York, Paris, Canada, bicultural upbringing, multilingualism, and letter-writing.

Salinger is great at creating these marvelous, interesting characters. How did he do it?

::5 stars::