The bright spot in all of the sad news today about the passing of J. D. Salinger is all of the wonderful quotes from his work that people have shared today on Twitter and Facebook. It’s been a lovely tribute to a man whose writing continues to speak to readers of all ages.
In Salinger’s honor, here are a few of my favorite passages from one of my favorite authors:
Lane spotted her immediately, and despite whatever it was he was trying to do with his face, his arm that shot up into the air was the whole truth.
–Franny and Zooey, page 7 (this is one of my favorite lines in all of literature)
“You’d better get busy, though, buddy. The goddam sands run out on you every time you turn around. I know what I’m talking about. You’re lucky if you get time to sneeze in this goddam phenomenal world.”
–Franny and Zooey, page 198
A box of Louis Sherry candies – half empty, and with the unconsumed candies all more or less experimentally squeezed – was open on the coffee table, in front of the couch.
–Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour an Introduction, page 55
Anybody over the age of sixteen without an ulcer’s a goddam spy.
–Franny and Zooey, page 141
The best thing, though, about being in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and their pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket. Nobody’d be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.
–The Catcher in the Rye, page 121
I don’t suppose a writing man ever really gets rid of his old crocus-yellow neckties. Sooner or later, I think, they show up in prose, and there isn’t a hell of a lot he can do about it.
–Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour an Introduction, page 187