Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"A Perfect Day for Bananafish" by J.D. Salinger

While I've read The Catcher in The Rye a handful of times, until today I had never read (or at least I don't remember having read) any of Salinger's short stories.

I enjoyed "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" for several reasons: the complicated protagonist, Seymour Glass; the scenario created of contrasting characters; the interesting concept of a soldier returned from war on vacation with his utterly clueless wife; the vivid scene descriptions; and the tension created by Seymour's interaction with young Sybil--but I've got to admit I didn't love the ending. Sure, it makes sense, but it came too quick and easy for my liking, and after the tension had already dissipated.

If you know of another Salinger short (I'm eager to meet the remaining Glass children--I understand there are seven that sprung up after Seymour) that I might like better, by all means tell me about it.

Incidentally, this story was published in The New Yorker, 65 years ago; exactly 20 years prior to the day I was born. It's astounding to think how little has changed (conversations between mothers and daughters; fashion's place amongst them; martinis amongst mothers; PTSDs; our behavior on elevators) and, also, how so very much has changed.

J.D. Salinger

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