Ð Franny and Zooey ê Download by ¶ J.D. Salinger Well you are stupid Mum, you are one of the most stupid people I know, really what were you thinking when you decided to even read this for God s sake Lights another cigarette I mean to say, for God s sake, it s full of this kind of histrionic dialogue with incessant overuse of italics, and the people in it don t so much speak as hold forth as if they were on the stage somewhere for God s sake, and they just go on and on about Jesus and chakras and anahata and all this goddam mystical stuff, well surely Mother you should have realised that you wouldn t really enjoy it all that much, I mean it s not you is it Mysticism and religion and stuff, you never did get that did you, so why did you read it for chrissake Mother also lights a cigarette Franny has one too, and Zooey, and Bloomberg, the cat, doesn t want to feel left out so has a cigar too Also, for God s sake, you could die of secondary smoke poisoning just reading this, and you know how much you hate cigarette smoke But I m I don t know I m tired Zooey I m just exhausted, frankly Yup, me too, Fran, me too.
This is great it really is In many ways it s the anti Cornwell Patterson Grisham King Coben Brown Franny and Zooey isn t fast paced or plot driven it isn t thrilling in the traditional sense , and its concepts aren t surfaced based or easy to come by or even embraced by the mainstream populace , but Salinger didn t write for these people he wrote for himself and if you identified with what he wrote, good for you if not, so be it Even so, it s not flourishy or fancy there s nothing pretentious about it There is a general disdain for snobbery running through its veins You raved and you bitched when you came home about the stupidity of audiences The goddam unskilled laughter coming from the fifth row And that s right, that s right God knows it s depressing I m not saying it isn t But that s none of your business, really That s none of your business, Franny An artist s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else s Franny and Zooey would be have been prescient if it were written today Salinger s kooky, wacky sense of humor his accuracy with individualized thought his passion for non conformity and for the individual, are all unmatched, even today In retrospect of all we know and can now see of his time period, Salinger s poking and mocking of then current society, make Franny and Zooey seem like it was written brilliantly today Maybe it s because this book has to do with an older brother and younger sister I m an older brother , or maybe it s because I know how much some of my friends love this novel, but I felt rushes of something like nostalgia during my reading some kind of sentimentality or appreciation for my friends that love this If you think you can t get sentimental over a Salinger novel, you re obviously not part of the group that loves him you can t be And while I don t love Salinger the way some of my friends do , I sure as fuck appreciate him, and I sure as fuck had an absolute blast reading Franny and Zooey my new favorite Salinger novel Whether he s one of your favorite authors or not, if you re of the breed that can indentify with Salinger s thinking and can maybe even see some similarities between you and some of his characters you feel a love for this man.
The Short Story, Franny, Takes Place In An Unnamed College Town And Tells The Tale Of An Undergraduate Who Is Becoming Disenchanted With The Selfishness And Inauthenticity She Perceives All Around HerThe Novella, Zooey, Is Named For Zooey Glass, The Second Youngest Member Of The Glass Family As His Younger Sister, Franny, Suffers A Spiritual And Existential Breakdown In Her Parents Manhattan Living Room Leaving Bessie, Her Mother, Deeply Concerned Zooey Comes To Her Aid, Offering What He Thinks Is Brotherly Love, Understanding, And Words Of Sage AdviceSalinger Writes Of These WorksFRANNY Came Out In The New Yorker In , And Was Swiftly Followed, InBy ZOOEY Both Stories Are Early, Critical Entries In A Narrative Series I M Doing About A Family Of Settlers In Twentieth Century New York, The Glasses It Is A Long Term Project, Patently An Ambiguous One, And There Is A Real Enough Danger, I Suppose That Sooner Or Later I Ll Bog Down, Perhaps Disappear Entirely, In My Own Methods, Locutions, And Mannerisms On The Whole, Though, I M Very Hopeful I Love Working On These Glass Stories, I Ve Been Waiting For Them Most Of My Life, And I Think I Have Fairly Decent, Monomaniacal Plans To Finish Them With Due Care And All Available Skill If you liked Catcher in the Ryethan your average novel, then you probably have considered reading Franny and Zooey It s one of very few books that J.
D Salinger wrote because he kind of turned into a weird old recluse I was really excited about reading this I expected big things Needless to say, I was very disappointed.
Problem number one Zooey, who is essentially the protagonist or one of two main characters is pretty much identical to the main character from Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield And so is every other guy character in Franny and Zooey They all talk and act the same It s all Jesus Christ, goddam and you can t tell them apart.
Problem number two the plot If you thought Catcher in the Rye was short on plot, check out this book NOTHING happens I mean it Nothing The first quarter of the book is just Franny sitting in a restaurant talking to her boyfriend The remaining three fourths is Zooey sitting in the bathtub talking to his mom, then getting dressed and talking to his sister in the living room That s it They don t do anything They don t go anywhere The entire book is just characters talking to each other And it s boring, pointless dialogue, too It d be one thing if they were interesting characters but they re not And all they do is smoke Every one of them They chain smoke like it s the only thing Salinger could think of to put into his novel that wasn t in quotation marks.
Hmm, what can Zooey do when he s not talkingI ve got it He can smoke a cigar Brilliant More like frustrating That makes two books in a row that I ve read and been disappointed with.
Most people of my generation read JD Salinger s A Catcher in the Rye back in high school, were amused by it s vulgarity and forthrightness and then forgot about it I personally haven t reread it since Instead, for this online Yale class on US lit since 1945, I read Franny and Zooey as it is on the syllabus It is an interesting diptych The shorter first part has Franny Glass meeting her boyfriend Lane at Yale and going to eat before a football game Yale Harvard perhaps The boyfriend rereads her last love letter to him and meets her at the train station His attitude is that she isof a trophy girlfriend Franny, it turns out, is a basketcase When they get to the restaurant, she lays into him for no apparent reason, cries in the bathroom, returns to drink a second martini on an empty stomach leaving her chicken sandwich how uncouth and uncivilized to have ordered such peasant food muses Lane , and then passes out at the bar Curtain falls Act 2 happens in the Glass house an apt name for this cracked family with her brother taking a long bath and conversing with his mother Bessy as both of them chain smoke he in the tub hidden behind the shower curtain, his mother sitting clothes in a kimono, on the toilet Besides the normal son mother banter, we learn that Zachary Zooey s real name is 25 and one of 7 children that were all child TV stars on a game show Both Bess and Zooey are worried in their own ways about Franny now home resting after the Yale incident If this all sounds rather banal, well, it is The real story here is about the obsession of the oldest brother, Seymour who committed suicide some time before with two books about that essentially talk about reaching a godlike state by saying a simple prayer to Jesus Franny has since taken the two books out of the abandoned bedroom of the deceased brother and is in a state of nervous breakdown as she recites the lines over and over again in her head and yet is not reaching the spiritual state she thought she would Zooey is somewhatable to deal with the heavy atmosphere in the house another of the siblings having been killed in WWII by being completely pitiless and devoid of feeling and continuing a somewhat successful theatrical career By the end of the book, he is able finally to breakthrough Franny s blockage by telling her that essentially, she is trying too hard and needs to believe in herself rather than in this repetitive prayer While not a masterpiece, it is an interesting story where Salinger is seemingly satirizing the Beats and their canned Buddhist inspired pretensions to art and saying that one must engage with the world rather than run from it He is also describing the damage that early fame does to children in undermining any moral foundation they may have had into selfishness and materialism It is not clear however what alternative he proposes as Lane is as superficial and uncaring in his own pretentious Ivy League way that Zooey is on his artistic high horse The writing is interesting and fast paced It does make me want to go back and read A Catcher in the Rye to see if what Salinger really idealized in that book because in this one, we primarily see what he demonizes The one really beautiful, human moment is the one I mentioned at the end And I believe that should you read this short book, you will find that despite the details I mention here, I fo not believe to have spoiled the story for you because most of the meaning and interest lies in the many dialogs Let me know if you decide to read it and how you react to it.
I m just sick of ego, ego, ego My own and everybody else s I m sick of everybody that wants to get somewhere, do something distinguished and all, be somebody interesting It s disgusting This was my first real exposure to Salinger I ve made attempts in the past to read Catcher in the Rye, but I was never able to connect with it My friendSpenkyraved about Salinger s Franny and Zooey, so I decided this would be my introduction to Salinger To say I was enthralled with Salinger s writing would be an understatement My first thought upon reading the final page was finally, I finished this book It s usually not a good thing when you re relieved once you finish a book but I feel that it s different with Salinger s book This was a journey, for me and the characters, in which I and they work through problems Of course you re relieved when you find the answers at the end And, thankfully, Salinger does give answers Rather than bore you with my take on Franny and Zooey here s a description of the book by Salinger himselfFRANNY came out in The New Yorker in 1955, and was swiftly followed, in 1957 by ZOOEY Both stories are early, critical entries in a narrative series I m doing about a family of settlers in twentieth century New York, the Glasses It is a long term project, patently an ambiguous one, and there is a real enough danger, I suppose that sooner or later I ll bog down, perhaps disappear entirely, in my own methods, locutions, and mannerisms On the whole, though, I m very hopeful I love working on these Glass stories, I ve been waiting for them most of my life, and I think I have fairly decent, monomaniacal plans to finish them with due care and all available skill These are two short stories but so closely related, Zooey a novella starts where Franny a short story ends, that it is probably better for both stories to be read together Zooey Glass and Franny Glass are brother and sister and the two youngest of seven children All of them have been on a quiz radio show A Wise Child which seems to have led to all of them having difficulty in dealing with other people Franny centers on her going to meet her boyfriend, Lane, for the weekend which turns into a disaster on the first day because she seems to be out of sorts Zooey then offers an explanation of this from the brother s perspective as she comes home to be consumed in her problems We get an insight into their history and an explanation and solution for Franny s problemPerhaps Franny was my favorite of the two, perhaps perhaps Zooey is the better of the two, perhaps I found myself often agreeing with Zooey Salenger s observations of college students and their attitudes how I miss those days are funny and also quite true He exposes the phony self congratulatory and self importance that is evenpresent now than when he wrote these works Yes, Salinger is terribly judgmental, or at least, his characters are It s that realization that no matter who you are, you are a very small piece in a much larger whole, and the need to accept that that s crushing Franny She wants to partake in the world without feeling let down with its banality It seems the challenge Salinger is putting out there for Franny to face is how to love the world for what it is without condescending to it It s a sentiment felt at one time or another by everyone with any self awareness.
Did you know that Zooey Glass was voted People magazine s Sexiest Man Alive in 1961 What No, I m kidding Why would you have ever believed that Did you think the magazine even existed back in 61 Geez.
But if it did, fictional or not, Zooey could almost certainly have been a contender And back then he would have been eligible, too Of course, you wouldn t get the Zooey Glass looks without a little of the Zooey Glass attitude, and are you sure you d want to have dealt with that It was a littleI don t knowcaustic At least three levels above endearing sarcasm and those are three levels in the wrong direction, by the way , Zooey could chew you up and spit you out without even blinking an eye But yeah, I get it He s hot.
Franny s not so bad looking herself, but she like her delightful brother may not have made the best dinner date companion Franny, who seems to me an older, wiser, and less retarded version of Holden Caulfield and I say this affectionately because I love Holden in all his beautiful retardedness , expresses a whole slew of disgust for the world around her, and for the state of the arts and of academia in particular In fact, they both do Franny and Zooey , to an extent that is both sad and comical at the same time.
So what is up with the Glass kids Why are they so damaged Zooey attributes their psychological issues his and Franny s to their older brothers Seymour and Buddy, one of whom is dead, and the other being a stand in for Salinger himself or so I ve read , as they practically forced their intellect onto their younger siblings at an impressionable age, critically injuring their ability to be happy later, and isolating them from a society that can t comprehend their lofty criticisms ofwell, nearly everything I mean, don t you think Franny and Zooey would have preferred to be as carefree as other members of society seem to be Wouldn t they wish to trade their brainiac existence, at least occasionally, for a some flip flops and iced tea Well, in the end, maybe not.
I liked this book very much I loved the Glass family, as messed up as they are, along with its matriarch I thought it interesting, too, how reading this was like reading a play Aside from Buddy s letter to Zooey, Franny and Zooey has a clear delineation of three distinct scenes in two distinct acts The sets are simple, yet close attention is paid to their design Actor positions are described at every turn Maybe it s just memaybe I wanted this to be a play for some weird reason, but it s also what appealed most to me about the book, I think It is the dialogue between the actors and it is almost always one on one that elucidates their character and it is the characters that made me love this book as much as I did.
Oh, and Zooey Glass is hot.
This is in actuality two short stories combined by the enigmatic writer to form a novel , and even together not very long at that.
The opening looks rather ordinary, a boy waits for his girl at a train station set in the 1950 s in an unnamed city in the eastern U.
, as the unpleasant cold, winter weather freezes the college student s bones Lane Coutell is ambitious, happy, wants to make a splash in the world, just the opposite of his girlfriend, Franny Frances Glass of the brilliant, yet troubled large family Disillusioned by college, teachers are idiots and hypocrites, like their victim, the students Only caring about themselves and lacking passion for their jobs, going through the motions, and nothing acting FRANNY HAS SEEN THE LIGHT, having read a book, The Way of the Pilgrim , and its sequel, The Pilgrim Continues his Way , by an anonymous writer, a poor peasant, with a bad arm, a seeker of truth trying to find God s will, from the 19th century , he wandered through massive Russia Speaking to countless people, most very friendly surprisingly, monks are glad to talk about religion to the amiable pilgrim Franny becomes enad obsessed a better word by these books, carrying them around in her purse The much anticipated weekend crashes like a baseball striking a glass window pun intended Fainting spells, arguments about teachers in their respective schools, what is really important, life in general, an unpleasant atmosphere.
Second part, Zooey, Zachary a good looking , t.
v actor, however not a big man at 25, five years older than his little sister, pretty Franny, both are at their parents apartment in New York City He is trying to read somehow an old letter while taking a bath, mother entersZooey calls her Bessie and the father Les, former showbiz stars , she is worried about Franny, now sleeping on the couch in the living room, arriving a few days ago from the disastrous weekend, sick in heart and bodyBegs him to talk to her, afraid the daughter is having a nervous breakdown, the uncomfortable son agrees The siblings discuss her strange behavior, she hates, school, friends and professors, quits acting in her college play, everything is stupid, nothing matters, but becomes a fanatical reader of the poor Pilgrim s thoughts about JesusSmall book with big ideas still not loved by all in truth, heavyweight or lightweight materialyou decide I myself believe it was well worth the rather confusing trip.
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D Salinger s Holden Caulfield, Aging Gracelessly One of the best quotes from the piece Rereading The Catcher in the Rye after all those years was almost literally a painful experience The combination of Salinger s execrable prose and Caulfield s jejune narcissism produced effects comparable to mainlining castor oil Ouch Double ouch because I had to look up jejune This article prompted me to delve deeper into the Salinger canon, and I resurfaced holding Franny Zooey Yardley may have prompted me to question my devotion, but this book cemented what I already knew JD Salinger is a wonderful writer and his characters are the written equivalent of crack You just can t get enough Franny Zooey is one of several books short stories written about the Glass family There are seven Glass kids, all of whom were, at various points, panelists on a radio quiz show with the best name ever It s A Wise Child Franny Zooey focuses on the two youngest siblings, hence the title, who are both in the midst of emotional and existential breakdowns Franny, away at college in Boston, has read a book called The Way of the Pilgrim, which has instilled in her an obsession with the concept of praying without ceasing Suddenly, everything around her is meaningless, she can t study or eat or sleep, and returns to New York to recouperate Zooey is a sometimes working actor, determined to help his sister.
The book touches on familiar Salinger esque themes, including relgious devotion fanaticism, kids vs adults, a potentially meaningless world, etc This book explores religion in an engaging, relatable way Franny s qustions are universal and Zooey s answers are valid.
Authorities on the Glass Family will appreciate the insight into the unit, particularly into eldest brothers Seymour who at that point has already committed suicide and Buddy, who narrates the story Zooey blames them for using himself and Franny as philosphical guinea pigs, pumping them full from the time they were toddlers with vast and varied dogma simply to see what would stick All of that said, I think the most important thing about this book, and all of Salinger s books, is its pure, joyful readability Franney Zooey contains passages that are absolutely HILARIOUS, specifically the extensive conversation between Zooey and his nagging mother, Bessie, that takes place in the bathroom I was laughing out loud throughout He s been called the voice of several generations, but Salinger s ability to maintain belly laugh worthy humor while touching on such dark themes might be the most notable and most underappreciated thing about him.