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(Slate)   Students should no longer read Catcher in the Rye, as someone wrote a better coming of age tale that is a work of literature instead of a middle-aged white male's fantasy that comes off sounding like the Stephenie Meyer of the 60s   (slate.com) divider line 28
    More: Spiffy, The Catcher in the Rye, Stephenie Meyer, narratives, white male, Holden Caulfield, Adam Ant, Peter Lorre, J.D. Salinger  
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8315 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 03 Nov 2012 at 2:15 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-11-03 03:29:34 PM
3 votes:
Is this the thread where whiny biatches whine and biatch about Holden Caulfield being a whiny biatch?


[willywonka.jpg]

/your book sucks
2012-11-03 02:46:21 PM
3 votes:
I always thought that Holden was clearly Bipolar. His moods were all over the map. He had poor impulse control. Showed poor judgment. Felt hopeless all the time. And was easily distracted and quick to upset. He even wound up in the hospital in the end. Wondered why teachers and kids alike kept on saying that it spoke to so many teenagers on their level.
2012-11-04 01:16:58 AM
2 votes:
I read Catcher in high school when I was about 17. I thought it was a great book. re-read it a few years later. Still great.

Sure he's not the greatest character in the world, but he's probably more 'real' sounding (a socially and mentally troubled youth) than most of the other characters I've read.
2012-11-03 05:44:32 PM
2 votes:
The problem is that Catcher in the Rye is no longer was never a book for cool high school students. Catcher in the Rye is a book for cool obnoxious, self-absorbed, pretentious, high school teachers. 

Seriously, the most annoying teachers in High School were the English teachers.
2012-11-03 01:30:43 PM
2 votes:
Holden Caufield is a whiny little biatch who couldn't even f*ck a hooker proper.
2012-11-04 10:26:37 AM
1 votes:

DigitalCoffee: The only people that really like TCITR are the author/publisher (who get money for the copies), the schools/teachers (that can get discounted copies), and parents (because they had to put up with that boring shiat and they'll be damned if their sprog will get out of doing the same). No one else gives a rats ass about those books (unless they can get money/votes/good press for saying that they like them).


These books need to go:
- The Catcher In The Rye
- Tess Of The D'urbervilles
- The Grapes of Wrath

Replace them with:
- Stranger In A Strange Land
- IT
- Ender's Game


You're proof that classic fiction needs to be compulsory. In these times, a book about mass poverty and class violence has more relevance than one about a clown in a sewer.
2012-11-04 10:10:21 AM
1 votes:

LiQuid!: Never had to read Catcher for school thank god. Our male teen coming of age story was The Chocolate War, which was great because it taught us that trying to do the right thing will only get you punched in the mouth.

Eventually read Catcher and all the criticisms were correct. Holden is a one-note wimp and an archetypal loser.


An author who fought his way across Nazi-occupied Europe with the 4th Infantry Division can write whatever he wants; what adversity has David Mitchell faced? If I survived the Hurtgen Forest, I might harp on angsty themes myself. And if you think Catcher is depressing, read Salinger's short stories, some based on actual persons and events.
2012-11-04 09:53:37 AM
1 votes:

mekki: I always thought that Holden was clearly Bipolar. His moods were all over the map. He had poor impulse control. Showed poor judgment. Felt hopeless all the time. And was easily distracted and quick to upset. He even wound up in the hospital in the end. Wondered why teachers and kids alike kept on saying that it spoke to so many teenagers on their level.


Because Holden resembles most teenagers, teenagers are very self-referential, and teachers know this, but want teenagers to read?
2012-11-04 06:27:59 AM
1 votes:
Coming of age book I'd like to see on a school book list: Nation (Terry Pratchett). Excellent piece of writing and incredibly heart-wrenching. Or maybe the Tiffany Aching series* because 1) it's fun 2) it's full of magic & fantasy & 3) it doesn't even pretend to try & be a coming of age story. It's just a story about a kid who has to grow up - fast. And that's the best kind of coming of age fic.

*Wee Free Men/Hat Full of Sky/I Shall Wear Midnight

Chrysalids was the coming of age story of choice way back in my highschool years. I enjoyed it & all the other John Wyndam books because they were just as weird & warped as I am.
2012-11-04 02:47:00 AM
1 votes:
phonies just hate mirrors
2012-11-04 02:24:16 AM
1 votes:

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


If you're going to give students a choice like this, you could at least structure it so that the student encounters a variety of stories from different times and places. For instance, have him chose one book from each of the four following groups:

A) Any play by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, or Shakespeare; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; The Song of Roland; Any two Canterbury Tales and the General Prologue.

B) The Vicar of Wakefield (Goldsmith); Emma (Austen); Wuthering Heights (Bronte); Candide (Voltaire); Hard Times (Dickens); The Picture of Dorian Gray (Wilde); Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Carroll); To the Lighthouse (Woolf); Dubliners (Joyce).

C) The Red Badge of Courage (Crane); Huckleberry Finn (Twain); As I Lay Dying (Faulkner); Member of the Wedding (McCullers); The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald); Main Street (Lewis); Native Son (Wright)..

D) The Stranger (Camus); A Clockwork Orange (Burgess); On the Road (Kerouac); Slaughterhouse-Five (Vonnegut); The Crying of Lot 49 (Pynchon); Things Fall Apart (Achebe); Beloved (Morrison).

Plus a fifth book from any of the four groups.

Obviously, I believe that the books students read for school should be more challenging than the books they read for pleasure and that curricula should be structured to give a survey of literary history, not just a random selection of texts, Consequently, I never seriously considered becoming a high school teacher.
2012-11-03 09:39:59 PM
1 votes:
I myself just finished A Confederacy of Dunces, which was excellent, and have since moved on to David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Figured that would be a nice transition into my usual winter reading, which is usually 19th century and/or intimidatingly dense. But it's not quite cold enough yet for Dostoyevsky.

Or Gabriel García Márquez for that matter - I have tried to slog through One Hundred Years of Solitude on probably six or seven different attempts, and I just can't manage it.
2012-11-03 09:30:16 PM
1 votes:
Catcher in the Rye is a great book. Problem is it's got tons of baggage from its reputation. Just enjoy it in a vacuum, forget the rhetoric.

Not to mention Franny and Zoey and the great short story collections Raise High the Roofbeams, Carpenters and the great Nine Stories.

I've also got a short story collection of Hemingway that's about three inches thick. That sick fark knew how to write right.

And then there's Bukowski...
2012-11-03 09:28:57 PM
1 votes:

DigitalCoffee: The only people that really like TCITR are the author/publisher (who get money for the copies), the schools/teachers (that can get discounted copies), and parents (because they had to put up with that boring shiat and they'll be damned if their sprog will get out of doing the same). No one else gives a rats ass about those books (unless they can get money/votes/good press for saying that they like them).


These books need to go:
- The Catcher In The Rye
- Tess Of The D'urbervilles
- The Grapes of Wrath

Replace them with:
- Stranger In A Strange Land
- IT
- Ender's Game

IT

? You're proposing for school reading a book which includes, among other things, a pre-teen gangbang scene? I'm sure that'll fly with the think-of-the-children brigade.
2012-11-03 09:12:51 PM
1 votes:
Threads biatching about CITR are more tired than the book itself.
2012-11-03 08:50:43 PM
1 votes:

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


How about an entirely different list altogether? (I'll keepharkleberry Finn)...the other nine:

- 1984
- A Handmaids Tale
- Fahrenheit 451
- A Confederacy of Dunces
- The Stand
- Everybody Poops - HA! OK, ok, ok...waitwaitwait...*phhhpphpttttt* HAHAHAH! OKokokok, waitwaitwait...The Road
- Slaughterhouse Five
- Plato's Republic
- Five Lectures by Sigmund Freud

Because I'm such an expert not an expert - not even close.
2012-11-03 07:24:35 PM
1 votes:
goganbunch: I love it when people reveal that they "learned things from South Park". As if that's some sort of ivy league education they have attained from a half hour cartoon. " I know all about Scientology; I know all about Mormonism because I watched South park.". When people say poop like that I can dismiss them as idiots. South park is funny, but please stop using it as a point of reference

Huh. You know who I dismiss as idiots? People who say "South park is funny."  The world's a funny place, isn't it?
2012-11-03 06:06:50 PM
1 votes:

Marshal805: Tried to crack it once. Couldn't do it. Too boring.

What was so important about this book that people decided to elevate it?


It's a very good, very timely book. In context, probably one of the most important pieces of fiction ever written. Which is the problem, I think. Outside the milieu of the 50's, Holden's SPECIFIC problems, and the language used in the book, are just not relevant any more. Certainly his overall adolescent issues are universal; but modern kids are going to be bored by the prep-school setting and won't get why Holden feels so trapped by his wealthy lifestyle that most of us never had. And the terrible language that so shocked 50's readers is quaint today and kids are not going to understand why adults in "Catcher" thought Holden was being so rude.

"Catcher" is really meaningless today unless it's couched in terms of its historical context, or unless the teacher is able to present it in terms of the universal issues that all teenagers face. Just handing a 15-year old a copy of the book and saying "Here, read this" isn't going to accomplish much. It hasn't aged well. Holden IS a whiny biatch, and an entitled one by today's standards, and only a good English teacher is going to be able to cut through all that to make him sympathetic to kids raised on "Twilight" and "Hunger Games" (if they've read anything at all).
2012-11-03 06:01:40 PM
1 votes:

CujoQuarrel: It's forcing kids to read books like this that turn them off reading for their entire lives.

First , teach them that reading can be fun.


Because what kids like to read these days are so enriching.

Compulsory reading is how they are ever going to be challenged.
2012-11-03 05:33:01 PM
1 votes:
A suggestion for a modern addition to a fiction reading list:

Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods'.

I'm a bit biased as I have liked everything of his I've read, but this book in particular would be a great read - and a terrific jumping off point for writing/talking points on various cultures, myths, legends. ethics etc.

If we're talking a more modern feel to an older work:

Seamus Heaney's 'Beowulf: A New Translation'

I thought it was brilliant.

I'd be depressed if John Updike's Rabbit books, or John Irving's books didn't hold their attention...
2012-11-03 04:52:04 PM
1 votes:

gadian: We basically read soft-core porn, bawdy comedy, and sensationalism and our teachers justified it as we were "further along in emotional and intellectual development and can handle more advanced concepts".



So.... Shakespeare?
2012-11-03 03:27:20 PM
1 votes:
Fight Club?
2012-11-03 03:25:06 PM
1 votes:
Never had to read Catcher for school thank god. Our male teen coming of age story was The Chocolate War, which was great because it taught us that trying to do the right thing will only get you punched in the mouth.

Eventually read Catcher and all the criticisms were correct. Holden is a one-note wimp and an archetypal loser.
2012-11-03 03:22:19 PM
1 votes:
Stephen King's It should be required reading for all 12 year olds.
2012-11-03 03:08:58 PM
1 votes:
I just didn't like it because I had a shiatty life and didn't see the point in reading about some other guy's shiatty life.
2012-11-03 03:05:07 PM
1 votes:
Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist
2012-11-03 02:28:08 PM
1 votes:

Apos: So what's been heralded as a literary classic is that poorly written, subby?


No, Catcher is very well-written. It's just that the main character is a colossal asshole and there's no real action or catharsis in the book. But those are the things which make it a masterpiece, and also mean that it's time to put it away, as art about nothing is nothing new today.
2012-11-03 02:23:10 PM
1 votes:
Hated that book. Holden was a pussy.
 
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