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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 5, 2010 21 Shevat 5770

A Perfect Day for Salinger

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The news of the death of J.D. Salinger recalled the famous Dorothy Parker quip on being told that Calvin Coolidge was dead: "How can they tell?"


Of all the iconic writers of the second half of the 20th century, Salinger let us down most. Like one of his characters who demanded "authenticity," the author hid behind being authentic only to himself. He escaped constant public acknowledgement after publishing "The Catcher in the Rye" and only a dozen or so short stories.


He was not a man of his time. In our contemporary culture, which catapults good, mediocre and lousy writers into the den of lions for the rest of us to wait impatiently for the kill, he would not be pushed, shoved or flattered to engage. He rejected his 15 minutes of fame — or as one obituary writer put it, "he was famous for not being famous."


Unfortunately, he was too pained to write for anyone but himself, and possibly for posterity if he left anything to be published posthumously.


He shunned interviewers and wouldn't be exploited with tales of "mixing memory and desire," to quote from one of his short stories quoting T.S. Eliot. What has been largely overlooked in the discussions of Salinger's works after his death is the intelligent reading behind his writing. Ambitious teenagers would do well to imitate.


Holden Caufield, the narrator in "Catcher in the Rye," not only immortalized adolescent angst, he showed how it was smart to be smart. He had been kicked out of school, but not because he wouldn't read, even books he thought might "stink." He loved "classical books" and fantasized he might have been friends with the authors of the ones he liked best. Holden didn't want his own biography told like that of David Copperfield, but he knew "David Copperfield" well enough to criticize it. He was not a dumbed-down boy.

Letter from JWR publisher


I spent the weekend rereading most of Salinger's work (a slender legacy) and learned to my pleasure that the novel and short stories remain refreshing and wonderfully innocent and politically incorrect. His characters smoke, but the reader follows the dim light and the falling ash of the cigarettes as contributing to the meaning of the action. When Seymour, an adult in the short story "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," talks to a little girl about the tale of "Little Black Sambo," the tale is not condemned as racist but cherished as a poetic point of common reference in an amusing fairy tale:


"Did the tigers run all around that tree?"

"I thought they'd never stop. I never saw so many tigers."

"There's only six," Sybil said.

"Only six!" said the young man. Do you call that only?"

That's an artist's way of getting the perspective right.


In "Catcher in the Rye," Holden Caufield is not Huckleberry Finn, but he's a true literary descendant of Huck, imparting the wizened thoughts of a kid who can see through the phonies and the pomposities and insecurities of both children and adults. Other characters do likewise. Watch Lane, the boyfriend in "Franny," order snails and frogs' legs, telling those little froggies to "sit still." Snobbish foodies today could learn from his caustic criticism tempered with delicious wit. Who doesn't believe that Salinger's favorite food was the hole in the doughnut?


Huckleberry Finn takes the measure of human nature from those who live on the Mighty Mississippi; Holden Caufield exposes the sophisticates in and around New York City. If I were still a teacher, I would challenge my students to write a page of "Catcher" in words from their own experience, just to see how hard the craft really is. No tricks of Harry Potter allowed, no pushing a plot around or employing vampires to sexually titillate adolescents. Holden, a true child of the '50s, complains that he doesn't understand what a girl means when he's necking with her and she tells him to stop. His voice, unlike vulgar contemporary adolescent jargon, displays perfect pitch in capturing the budding perplexity and puzzlement of an early sexual encounter.


"Catcher in the Rye" takes its title from an overriding metaphor. Holden weaves a fantasy image of himself standing at the edge of a crazy cliff near a field of rye. When children playing a game in the rye above the cliff begin to fall off it, it's Holden's responsibility as the only big person around to catch them. The pleasures of childhood can be dangerous and difficult, but he doesn't want them to miss those thrills. Salinger gives the catcher an authentic voice in the terrifying space between childhood and adulthood. Too bad this remarkable author wouldn't let us be his friend, too.

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