I love Salinger’s work. Some of my favourite quotes:
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters
- I often feel a rather excessive pull toward people who don’t over apologize.
- I have no circulation, no pulse. Immobility is my home. The tempo of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and I are in perfect understanding. To me, its rhythm is a romantic waltz.
- Even in the dark, I could sense that she felt the usual estrangement from me when I don’t automatically love what she loves.
- She sat stirring her drink and feeling unclose to me. She worries over the way her love for me comes and goes, appears and disappears. She doubts its reality simply because it isn’t as steadily pleasurable as a kitten.
- Muriel apparently told Mrs. Fedder that I put ketchup on everything. I’d give the world to have seen M. telling her mother defensively that I put ketchup even on string beans. My precious girl.
- They know each other’s weaknesses, especially conversational weaknesses, and pick at them with their eyes.
- When they argue, there can be no danger of a permanent rift, because they’re Mother and Daughter.
- Sometimes when I leave, I have a peculiar feeling that both M. and her mother have stuffed my pockets with little bottles and tubes containing lipstick, rouge, hair nets, deodorants, and so on. I feel overwhelmingly grateful to them, but I don’t know what to do with their invisible gifts.
- He would despise her for her marriage motives as I’ve put them down here. But are they despicable? In a way, they must be, but yet they seem to me so human-size and beautiful that I can’t think of them even now as I write this without feeling deeply, deeply moved.
- I don’t think he could see her for what she is. A person deprived, for life, of any understanding or taste for the main current of poetry that flows through things, all things. She might as well be dead, and yet she goes on living stopping off at delicatessens, seeing her analyst, consuming a novel every night, putting on her girdle, plotting for Muriel’s health and prosperity. I love her. I find her unimaginably brave.
- Muriel sounded rather relieved that I couldn’t get in tonight. Which amuses and delights me. Another girl, if she genuinely wanted an evening free of her fiancé, would go through the motions of expressing regret over the phone. M. just said Oh when I told her. How I worship her simplicity, her terrible honesty. How I rely on it.
Seymour: An Introduction
- I’ve never known sickness —- or sorrow, or disaster, for that matter —- not to unfold, eventually, like a flower or a good memo.
- For us, doesn’t each of our individualities begin right at the point where we own up to our extremely close connections and accept the inevitability of borrowing one another’s jokes, talents, and idiocies?
- I’m not exactly wallowing in guilt at the moment, but guilt is guilt. It doesn’t go away. It can’t be nullified. It can’t even be fully understood, I’m certain —- it’s roots run too deep into private and long-standing karma. About the only thing that saves my neck when I get to feeling this way is that guilt is an imperfect form of knowledge. Just because it isn’t perfect doesn’t mean that it can’t be used. The hard thing to do is to put it to practical use, before it gets around to paralyzing you.
- Keep me up till five only because all your stars are out, and for no other reason.
- Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out? If only you knew how easy it would be for you to say yes to both questions. If only you’d remember before ever you sit down to write that you’ve been a reader long before you were ever a writer.
- The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself.
- an Attractively Ugly Man: most commonly used by womenfolk, real or imaginary, to justify their perhaps too singular attraction to spectacularly sweet-wailing demons or, somewhat less categorically, badly brought-up swans.