SPONTANEOUS FRIDAY

Catcher

My so-called hero

When I was 14 years old I read The Catcher in the Rye. To say I was blown away is an understatement.

Holden Caulfield was my hero. We understood each other and when I finished I hoped and predicted I would be that type of person someday.

 

Who was I kidding?

Fast forward five years later I read it again. This time things had changed. I could not believe how annoying that kid was. I grew tired of him. So much so I couldn’t finish the book.

Movies followed the same path as The Catcher in the Rye. For some that I found amazing and charming quickly found their way in the crash and burn category years later.

Not every movie or book is that way for me. Some will always be my favorite. It’s as if they grow with me. But why do others fail? Why can’t they keep up like the others?

 

Questions and Answers

I did some thinking on this and I figured it all comes down to timing.

So many of our past favorites are a snap shot of who we once were. A sarcastic mean spirited flic we just couldn’t get enough of may not work with our views of today. Or a plot involving a child disappearing forever in the woods would now be a turnoff in this parents eyes. 

Every now and then I do go back to my old favorites to test my reactions. I’m curious how much I’ve grown or if I’ve regressed a bit.

 

Which brings me to the point of all this:

Years ago I gave away my only copy of Catcher in the Rye and now I want to read it again. I am a parent of two teenagers so I’m curious how I will view him. With a father’s eye what instincts of mine will rise to the surface?

I can’t answer those questions yet but when I find out I promise I’ll share them with you.

Our priorities and opinions change as we grow, but for me my curiosity is still there and I’m wondering where it will take me when I enter Holden’s world.

catcher 1

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

48 thoughts on “SPONTANEOUS FRIDAY

  1. Catcher in the Rye reads like a first novel: Autobiographical with an angry intelligent main character… essentially the author. Why this book is treated differently, I do not know…

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    1. It is fascinating how certain books survive. Why is Catcher in the Rye alive and well after all these years while others, as good or better, are forgotten? A mystery I doubt we’ll ever solve.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It was Atlas Shrugged for me, Bryan. I mean, the book one believes is great…at first.

    I was 16 and knew so little about life — let alone history, economics, psychology, etc — that Rand quite impressed me. Rand, you see, is one of those purely rational thinkers. The thinkers who so much rely on logic to guide themselves that they usually never bother to test their conclusions against reality. Thus they often end up reasoning themselves into believing the air is rock and rock is water.

    The famous Godel was like that, you might know. He starved himself to death by having first logically reasoned that people were poisoning his food. Consequently, he refused to eat.

    Rand was almost Godel’s twin. She didn’t even check her theories against the sciences of her day. But I didn’t see any of that at 16. Didn’t have the knowledge base to see she was a fool.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think for me it was the novel East of Eden, I was enthralled by this Cain & Abel story of brothers who are always competing. I read it in high school, then read it again a couple of years ago only to figure out their father was an antagonistic asshole poisoning his son’s image and memory of their mother. But I will never get rid of my copy of this book, it was passed down to me by my favorite aunt and although it’s only a 2nd edition print, she signed it and gave it to me.

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    1. That in itself is a memory you must keep. Your favorite aunt says it all. But now that you are older you are able to see what the story was really about where before you were drawn to one conclusion.

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  4. I love rereading books from yesteryear . I still regret giving away. my Flowers In The Attic series to a relative because she bagged on me for being to old to read them. Now, I am older and want to read them again.

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  5. For me I remember Le Grand Meaulnes ( in translation!) making an impression on my teens, identifying so much with Francois. Haven’t read it for years, and wonder if I would find it so compelling now.

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    1. Identify is such a key word in this topic. You could identify with that story, those characters, the same as I did. I’m curious too what your impression will be. I’d like to see you present this on your blog sometime.

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  6. Interesting thoughts… there were lots of YA books I used to love and then I grew out of them. But the true classics have stayed with me. I love Catcher in the Rye, even though Holden is annoying – the immediacy of the writing style hooks me every time I read it.

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      1. She was overtly focused on the proper form of our reports. She didn’t seem to care about the content. Made no remarks about our thoughts, just deducted points for not leaving enough space between text and footnotes.

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  7. I’ve never read that book, as well as many of the other classics that most people have read. Our high school lost its accreditation for the first two years I was there and we had no college prep program and what passed for our class curriculum was pitiful. That is no excuse of course, but I know when I got to college and heard about the classics, Shakespeare, and even “Beowulf” that my classmates had read, I realized I was woefully behind. When I retire I’d like to go through that list of the “100 Best Novels of all Time” and tick off one by one as I have not read most of them.

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  8. Sometimes the “Best Novels of All Time” aren’t always the best. So much of this comes down to personal taste. For me I was never a Hemingway fan and he would be on the list. Pick the genre that you’re drawn to and enjoy. Don’t struggle through a book. Some of the best books ever are from those you hardly hear of.

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  9. Loved reading this! Such interesting reflective perspective on such experiences one goes through as they grow up and venture into life!

    I am one of those strange ones who cannot read a book twice, and the same thing goes for movies! Somehow it’s ‘embedded’ in my memory so I feel I know everything that is going to happen etc etc…It always fascinates me how others collect movies and books! I don’t own any movies. And gave away most of my books 😦 …I think I’m always ready to ‘be surprised’…is that why? One of the reasons ;)…I think

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s it, Kat. You love the element of surprise. Nothing wrong with that. For some of us, me included, it’s our comfort zone to reread or rewatch a book or movie. We’re safe and we don’t want to be surprised. But there’s a downside as you can see. Sometimes we outgrow them and the results can be ugly.

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  10. That’s a great experiment! It’s always interesting to learn about ourselves through the things that were meaningful to us in the past. When you read the book again, please blog about that!

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  11. I just had a similar experience with a movie that I’d adored when I was younger but hadn’t seen for about 15 years. I bought a copy a couple of weeks ago and made Ken watch it with me, promising that he would love it too. We were both like, “None of this makes sense–what a crappy movie!” It was sad. That’s why I’m not rereading my favourite book from my teen years EVER.

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  12. Now I’m curious: What was the movie?

    I did the same thing years ago. Some slack stick movie from the 70’s. Off hand I can’t remember the title. Loved it the first go around, thought it was pointless the second time.

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  13. That sucks that this happened to a book you loved so much! I am sure there are tons of books I once loved that I wouldn’t like now, but I can’t think of any (I don’t do a lot of re-reading) I am super curious to see if you would like it again now that you have kids of your own! That is an interesting thought 🙂

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  14. As others have mentioned, it will be interesting to see how you see the book from a dad’s perspective with teenage children. On a side note: You have such a great group of blog followers. Every week, I enjoy reading everyone’s comments to your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Include yourself in the mix, kiddo. 🙂

      Your comments are spot on. I always look forward to your words. You are correct, they are a fun bunch. But don’t tell them I said that. Ego through the roof. 😉

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  15. The idea and the way you wrote it, it just beautiful. I think Holden represents a phase in teenage when we feel misunderstood and thus frustrated.
    I hope reading it will help understand and consequently strengthen the relationship you have with your kids.

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