Friday, 16 July 2010

On this day...

J. D. Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye' is published in 1951. Salinger's first, and only, full length novel, the work immediately initiated at once both the controversy and the fame which was to dog the reclusive Salinger until the end of his life earlier this year. Citing the use of vulgar language, blasphemy, and a loose moral depiction, the novel was the most censored book in high schools and libraries in the United States between 1961 and 1982, and the tenth most frequently challenged book from 1990–1999.

Yet fans say otherwise. To many, it is an embodiment of teenage life, an explorative journey through the mind of a troubled adolescent that resonates throughout the generations. However, for some the book holds more sombre connotations - that John Lennon's assassination, as killer Mark Chapman was arrested with the novel, and even gave out signed copies from his cell. Translated into 'almost all the world's major languages', 'The Catcher in the Rye' remains the ultimate marmite book - hated by some, loved by others - whichever way, it is sure to evoke a reaction.

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