FRANNY AND ZOOEY DISCUSSION POINTS

JD-Salinger-007

The lasting romance of Salinger, beyond the you are in the room writing and compulsive readability complete with the detail mastery and the breathtaking right hook phrases is, I think, letters. His characters writer letters. I can’t remember the last letter I wrote. In the 90s maybe.#TweeBooks

Does everyone fall in love with Franny or just teenage boys who get this book at like 15? i fell instantly in love with her and wanted to sit across from her eating snails and she gave me my first sense of neurotic chic. “the right looking girl,” as Salinger calls her.

I always, as a Bennington grad, love the part where he slams us “The Bennington-Sarah Lawrence type looked like she’d spent the whole train ride in the john, sculpting or painting or something?”

The book is about mourning and absence obviously. Dead Seymour and Jesus/spiritual fulfillment. Seymour is in them, he’s molded them, and Jesus, aka the “Fat Lady” is everywhere, so in a sense it’s about characters a little bit in love with their sorrow and with, as Zooey says, the occasional “stink of piety,” coming to realize they are already okay.#TweeBooks

Zooey keeps black mollies. Most of them are dead. Black mollies are Twee.#TweeBooks

The cat is named Bloomberg. Again, very, very twee.#TweeBooks

That same, letter writing thing, I should say, is of a piece with Salinger’s menus. Snails. Frogs legs. Martinis. His appeal is Mad Men appeal. And that he’s a fookin’ genius#TweeBooks

“Consecrated chicken soup.”TweeBooks

Even though Zooey is a bastard, it’s hard to want that bathing/shaving/verbally abusing his ex-Vaudevillian mother scene to end and it makes me sad that nobody’s ever made a movie of any Salinger. There’s so much for an actor to do. Lord.#TweeBooks

The Jesus Prayer, the constant prayer is acquisitive. It reminds me of Courtney Love telling interviewers that she chanted for things she wanted.#TweeBooks

The description of the apartment on page 119 (of the famous mass market version) is so so great. “four comfortable chairs, eight uncomfortable chairs.”#TweeBooks

“You Needn’t Be So Mean, Baby.”#TweeBooks

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