Work ethic

Fifty years of Salinger

I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was in college. J.D. Salinger’s book, published in 1951, has sold more than 65 million copies and still sells 250,000 a year. Catcher became required reading for a whole generation. The antihero of the book, Holden Caulfield, remains a cult hero for some.

A few years ago I performed a wedding for a couple that was so enamored with the character of Holden Caulfield that they called each other “Holden,” asked me to read their favorite passages from Catcher instead of delivering a homily, and wanted to refer to each other as “Holden” when they said their vows. I managed to talk them out of the latter. I did agree to use an excerpt from Catcher as an illustration in my homily.


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