J. D. Salinger

John Wenke (Salisbury State University)
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J. D. Salinger began his career as a publishing fiction writer in1940 with the appearance of “The Young Folks” in


and concluded it in 1965 with the publication of “Hapworth 16, 1924” in the

New Yorker


The Catcher in the Rye

(1951) remains Salinger's masterwork. In the novel Holden Caulfield provides a vibrant account of “this madman stuff that happened to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy.” Holden's comic and harrowing escapades have made him a cultural hero. This alienated teenager with a slash of gray hair seems more a confused loner than an iconoclastic rebel. Alternately brash and sentimental Holden hates “phonies,” longs for innocence and styles himself a champion of vulnerable children…

2534 words

Citation: Wenke, John. "J. D. Salinger". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 September 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=3915, accessed 16 July 2024.]

3915 J. D. Salinger 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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