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Pranks, Winks, and Knowing Artifice: Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye While enduringly popular with the American reading public, particularly young people and aspiring writers, the works of J. Salinger have, somewhat perplexingly, failed to generate much in the way of serious scholarship.
Since then, many authors and fans have sought to redeem Salinger from a writerly perspective Samuels; Kotzen and Bellerwhile his status in the world of literary criticism remains uncertain. And I propose to talk about these techniques and devices in the Senior paper of writerly tricks, games, and pranks.
A kind of prank Salinger plays on the reader is the couching of his narratives in the authorship of the fictional Buddy Glass and the creation of a Glass superstructure of linked stories.
Buddy, like his trickster creator, seems to be almost daring the reader to accuse him of invention. In analyzing Salinger as a purveyor of tricks, who in some ways defies critical study, I will look at his earlier, uncollected stories to track the development of mastery. Are the tricks in the earlier stories more transparent, less well pulled-off?
Are they more gimmicky? To contextualize Salinger in the tradition of the American short story, I will examine him against two of his contemporaries—Ring Lardner and William Saroyan.
Lardner was known first as a sportswriter, and Saroyan was also a playwright and pop songwriter. I am interested in the ways in which Salinger imitates and explodes these tropes, and what role his aligning himself with these perceived hacks plays in his critical reception. The overall goal is to examine J.
Salinger as a popular success and a critical difficulty, putting language to the literary trickery that renders his work at once enigmatic and completely captivating.The Senior Paper cherishes the precious memories of the past. Great stories and timeless photos from the good ol' days are what make The Senior Paper loved by seniors from coast to coast!
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Sample Senior Essay Proposals. including the pompous Lane Coutell bragging about his A-grade English paper in “Franny,” the hopeless teachers at Holden Caulfield’s lousy prep school, and the amateur-analyst figure of Muriel’s mother, who tries to diagnose Seymour in “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” and “Raise High the Roof Beam.
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