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J.D. Salinger

By APprocrastinator Oct 16, 2014 611 Words
Emily Flores
Mr. Kelly
English 12
Often regarded as a mystery to literary world, J.D Salinger is recognized today for his work on his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye. Although Salinger had made use of his time writing short stories that were sometimes published in the magazines, his novel was his first and only work to face such recognition. Perhaps it was because many found the main character, Holden Caulfield, so relatable, but it was probably Salinger himself who related most to the troubled teen. After all, they shared many similarities from where they grew up, to even failing schools. It was sometime after his experience in WWII when J.D Salinger actually wrote the book, then two just two years later that he abandoned society and began his reputation as the eccentric recluse. Jerome David (J.D.) Salinger, nicknamed “Sonny” was born in New York City on January 1, 1919. Growing up comfortably in the upper middle class Salinger lived with his father, Sol Salinger, who was a rabbi and his mother, Miriam. He was the youngest of two and had an older sister, Doris who was 8 years older than him. He was also fairly intellectual, however it didn’t aid him much in his school. After he had flunked out of McBurney, a private school in Manhattan, his parent decided to send him to Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania at 15 years old. Once successfully graduating, he studied at Ursinus College and New York University. By 1940 Salinger had begun his writing career starting off with a short story he sold to Burnett’s Story magazine for twenty-five dollars. It wasn’t long after this that the author was dragged into war. Not one to give up, Salinger continued his work while working in the army and even begun his now famous novel The Catcher in the Rye. However, it was after his invasion on D-day that the war began to take a toll on the aspiring author. He was left traumatized and depressed, receiving treatment in a hospital. It was while he was receiving treatment that he met his first wife, Sylvia a speculated German Nazi. The marriage lasted 8 months before they divorced, but Salinger then remarried to Claire Douglas in 1955 and had two children. He later moved back to New York where he resumed his work on The Catcher and the Rye, which was then published in 1951. The effect was immediate and while many praised it, others criticized it pointing to its immoral views. Unfortunately, Salinger was anything but prepared for this reaction. An esteemed Salinger critic Warren French had said Salinger was "unprepared for the kind of cult success". It was only two years later that the author decided to lock himself away in a type of exile, secluding himself away to a cabin in Cornish, New Hampshire. He instructed his attorneys to halt any new publications related to his book to be discontinued. He spent the remainder of his life in seclusions with only his family for company. When his wife divorced him he became even more eccentric, having an affair with an 18 year old from Yale, and threatening people who disturbed him with threats of violence. J.D Salinger died in 2010 leaving his “supposedly unpublished” stories locked in his mansion as another secret.

Works Cited

"The Catcher in the Rye By J. D. Salinger J.D. Salinger Biography." The Catcher in the Rye: The Catcher in the Rye. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2014. "Jerome David Salinger." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 25 Sep. 2014. "J.D. Salinger." Famous Authors. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.

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