Guide to Enjoying Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters
This non-academic author presents a study of Salinger’s major writings, a study designed to enhance the reader’s enjoyment even in a reread. The study is an analysis of their artistic structure, especially Salinger’s sophisticated use of the narrator’s voice or voices. Catcher comes off as the Hindu Connection, Franny and Zooey as Take Out Zen and Raise High as Kabbalah Reception.
The Hindu connection structures what happens to Holden in Catcher, and fast as take out Zen structures what happens to Franny in Franny and Zooey. Principal tenants of Kabbalah influence and structure important aspects of the story Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters, particularly the lack of civil reception of “others” at the wedding reception. These choices were no doubt influenced by Salinger’s experiments with different forms of spirituality.
Salinger apparently came to the conclusion that your spiritual soul lies in your individual identity, a conclusion Joyce and others had reached earlier from connection with Eastern Spirituality. Direct versions of Jesus and Buddha dwell within you just waiting to be discovered. You don’t need an escort.
For many young readers in the 20th century, these stories made up the New Testament, the new gospel as to what was important in life values. Read here how and why they were so powerful.
About the Author
This non-academic author, a retired lawyer and now the author of 20 volumes of literary analysis, is fresh from completing a 10 volume series of word by word analysis of Joyce's Finnegans Wake, the only such analysis available. He was featured in the Fall 2015 edition of the James Joyce Literary Supplement. He has now focused his approach in an attempt to find the meaning of stories by Franz Kafka viewed as art forms and how they work as art.