I read today that J.D. Salinger died, and I could feel the sadness in my soul. About three seconds after, my phone chirped that I had a text message. My friend Kristiana wanted me to know about Salinger’s death.
We both read Salinger’s work around the same time when we were finishing our undergrad degrees in English Lit. She was reading some of his other works at the time, and I was finally getting around to reading The Catcher in the Rye. She had brought it up somewhere along the way, and the way she talked about it, I knew that I would probably enjoy reading it.
I loved the story.
Like some who’ve written about Salinger today, I can’t point to the exact reasons why I enjoyed Holden or the story he weaves. Thinking about it today, I think part of what I love about the story is the desire to hold onto life as it is; the desire for people to stop taking a persona for the moment and be who they are.
Salinger has intentionally kept himself separate from the rest of the world, and I know there were some who hadn’t realized he was still alive until he’d died. The rumor is that he never stopped writing, even though he quit publishing his work. There’s a part of me that hopes he left directions for publishing those works. I guess because I don’t want his talent and style to completely fade with him.
I know I’m not the only one writing about their experiences with Salinger’s work today. This loss is one shared by many, and many are writing to honor an author they admired. What better way to share this moment?