Franny and Zooey

Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger (Trade Paper, National Bookstore P285)             

Status: Back-track

Visual Rating:  


4 eyeglasses out of 5

Audio Pair-up:

The Cure Greatest Hits: Boys Don’t Cry/High/In Between Days/Just Like Heaven/A Letter to Elise – playful bits for the start (lane vs franny) with melancholic tunes during the latter part

In this world/Play by Moby – perfect for the philosophical musings part for Franny  

I’m one of those bespectacled folks who stand in subway trains with one hand lightly holding on to the rail and the other securely (albeit, carefully) clasped around a book. This scene would have been okay had I been able to hold my emotions in with dignity. You have, once in your life encountered us, we who find ourselves so engrossed in books that we just unwarily and liberally laugh when the written word deserves it, utter profanities during climactic scenes, loudly sigh and literally nod our heads to show that we understand these fictional characters point of view. Let me just state for the record that we are not insane.

Reading Salinger in public has awarded me nothing but disapproving looks in return which usually happens right after I let out a semi-controlled giggle  – but what the hell, they don’t understand how entertainingly evil Zooey’s uncanny penchant in verbally abusing his mother can be. The deeper I got into the mere hundred something paged book, the more it caused me alarm. Franny seemed to be the mirror-image of  female cerebral lapses. Those lapses being the gaps between rational thoughts and otherwise odd revelations. She seemed just like any other highly disturbed, insanely emotional, overly critical of the mundane individual. Franny was realistically endearing in her cluttered observations, weak self-argumentations and lack of a coherent, lucid thought of what makes her feel miserable. She was completely inconsolable and brokenhearted with not a faint idea of what causes it. I love her.

Salinger’s portrayal of Zooey on the other hand, had just the right amount of the intellectual male egocentricity. The man who understands he understands and by that fact knows his ego causes powerful involuntary eye squints. Torn between his apparent possession of a personal conscience and constant brain ejaculations, Zooey finds himself darting in out of brotherly sermons to wounding monologues. He finds himself constantly having to re-phrase, recant and rearticulate his thoughts in the hopes of getting through to Franny (whose head, in between all this drama was somewhere above the gloomy clouds. )

All in all, I still consider turning Salinger’s pages when I’m up for a light , smooth read. Reading Salinger is like sashaying down the street with a sunday dress complete with flowers and daisies on – all in the middle of a storm.


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