Just Another Ant
Tuesday, 23. September 2003
"Catcher In The Rye", Classroom Classic

Angeregt durch Laura Millers Artikel über "Classroom Classics"* [NYT Will This Be on the Test?] lese ich nach dreizehn Jahren wieder J.D. Salingers "Catcher In The Rye", ein Buch das von Miller nicht unpassend als "masterpiece of adolescent grumpiness" bezeichnet wird. Folgende Passage finde ich tatsächlich komisch (den Körpergeräusch-Scherz, der gleich darauf kommt, lasse ich jedoch weg):

Where I [Holden Caulfield, the narrator] lived at Pencey, I lived in the Ossenburger Memorial Wing of the new dorms. It was only for Juniors and Seniors. I was a Junior. My room-mate was a Senior. It was named after this guy Ossenburger that went to Pencey. He made a pot of dough in the undertaking business after he got out of Pencey. What he did, he started these undertaking parlours all over the country that you could get members of your family buried for about five bucks apiece. You should see old Ossenburger. He probably just shoves them in a sack and dumps them in the river. Anyway, he gave Pencey a pile of dough, and they named our wing after him. The first football game of the year he came up to school in this big goddam Cadillac, and we all had to stand up in the grandstand and give him a locomotive - that's a cheer. Then, the next morning, in chapel he made a speech that lasted about ten hours. He started off with about fifty corny jokes, just to show us what a regular guy he was. Very big deal. Then he started telling us how he was never ashamed, when he was in some kind of trouble or something, to get right down to his knees and pray to God. He told us we should always pray to God - talk to Him and all - wherever we were. He told we ought to think of Jesus as our buddy and all. He said he talked to Jesus all the time. Even when he was driving his car. That killed me. I can just see the big phoney bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs.

*"The classroom classic is a literary hazelnut: you crack it open and it easily yields a round, whole meat; that's all there is, no shards or membranes to pick through. You can discuss its theme, but not debate it."
Aber es gibt da noch die "black sheep among classroom classics". Zu diesen gehört laut Miller "The Catcher In The Rye".

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