....for someone who grew-up as an uncertain, nervous, ill-at-ease apprehensive adolescent... books and authors - Richard Wright, Albert Camus, Sartre, GB Shaw, Ayn Rand, Oscar Wilde, etc.... - were a comfortable and safe reality to relate to.
I realised that, during last one week - while I was busy with the SE Conference, two of them with whom I grew - Eric Segal (Love Story... still wonder why it turned out to be prophetic) and JD Salinger... and who contributed to my growing up, left the planet.
JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye - and Holden Cuafield - were one of such anchor for me then...
So, I dug out this register from IITK days ('76 roll number 610062 :), where I had scribbled some of the conversations of Holden Caufield which made sense to me then - and still do:
Conversation between Holden Caufield and Mr Antalini:
“It’s this course where each boy in the class has to get up in the class and make a speech – you know Spontaneous and all. And if the boy digresses at all, you’re supposed to yell “Digressed” at him as fast you can. It just drove me crazy. I got an F in it.”
Oh, I don’t know. That digression business got on my nerves. I don’t know. The trouble with me is, I like it when somebody digresses. It’s more interesting and all.”
Conversation between Holden Caufield and Mr Spencer.
Mr Spencer: “What’d he say to you?”
“Oh… about life being a game and all. Andhow you should play it according to rules. He was pretty nice about it. I mean, he didn’t hit the ceiling or anything like that. He just kept talking about life being a game and all that, you know.”
“Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to rules.”
“Yes, sir. I know it is. I know it.”
Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it is a game, all right – I’ll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren’t any hot-shots, then what’s a game about it? Nothing. No game.
Mr Antolini to Holden Caufield.
“The falI I think you’re riding for – It’s special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit the bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangement is designed for men who, at some time or the other in their lives, were looking for something their environment couldn’t supply them with… So they gave up looking. The gave up before they even got started.”
and this last one, which is sort of "scripty"
Holden Caufiled to Phoebe:
“…I keep picturing all these kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s is around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I am standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean, it they’re running and don’t look where they’re going, I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s I’d do all day. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy.”