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Salinger: How to Love Without Love

- Abstract

SINCE I LIVED in outermost Paris during practically the whole of the 1950′s, I was very late in learning of what seems to have been one of the chief American diversions during that decade: J. D. Salinger’s Glass family. As matters appear to stand right now, I could, without stretching things too much, say that I didn’t learn about the Glasses until they had not only ceased to be a diversion but had evidently ceased to be at all. First news of them reached me in a letter from a Jewish girl I’d known in New York, who, oddly, or not so oddly, enough, later married an Irish-American. Apropos of nothing I can especially remember, she asked: “Aren’t you crazy for the Glass family? I am, especially for Seymour.” It didn’t occur to me that this had anything to do with Salinger-though I had some years earlier read “A Perfect Day for Bananafish”-and it was a year before I found out who the Glasses were.

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