There are times when I do nothing but expresses a whole slew of disgust for the world around me; times when I feel divorced from the society that can’t comprehend my lofty criticisms of… well, nearly everything — to an extent that is both sad and comical at the same time. It’s hard to remember it sometimes when you get lost, but Salinger always knows what to do. And I could listen to what Salinger has to say forever if I had to.
If you didn’t already know – J.D. Salinger is my hero. And Franny and Zooey are two incredibly compelling, magnetic characters who have been my constant over the last decade. I am no Salinger but I feel we are quite a bit alike – we are not bothered by exactly the same things, but by the same kind of things — for instance, we both can’t stand spiritual talk, we don’t want to settle down because we don’t like the meaning of the word ‘settle’ or ‘down’, and we like sitting in the window seat in airplanes because this is the only time we can really reflect on our lives.
It seems that Salinger didn’t write this book for anyone else but himself; it isn’t fast paced or structured, nor is it thrilling in the traditional sense. There is nothing pretentious about it and this flourishing theme is not something embraced by the mainstream populace. Salinger writes with a general disdain for snobbery running through his veins. It is the dialogue between Franny and Zooey – the Glass Siblings, in the midst of emotional and existential breakdowns, that captivated me the most, and kept me revisiting the pages over and over again. It elucidates their character and it is the characters that made me love this book as much as I did.
I sometimes can’t stop thinking about the Glass siblings. Something about them that I have loved for so much of my life is how their past and present lives seem to go on at the same time. Like you’re feeling nostalgic but refraining from sentimentality. Someone once said that writing is the only place where the thing and the loss of it can co-exist — I haven’t found that to be true in many aspects of my own life, but reading this particular book made me feel rushes of something like nostalgia during my reading; some kind of sentimentality or appreciation for writing. I mean great writing.
Maybe it’s because this book has to do with an older brother and younger sister, or maybe it’s because I know how much some of my friends love this novel, but if you’re of the kind that can identify with Salinger’s thinking — you will understand my love for Franny and Zooey.
Picture credit: Jazmin Quaynor