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5.0 von 5 Sternen See More of Seymour Glass . . . Even Though He Doesn't Appear, 27. März 2011
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
"The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass." -- Revelation 21:18-21 (NKJV)

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction certainly do remind me of the Revelation description of the New Jerusalem. It's like nothing you've ever seen before and will leave you with a sense of astonishment.

When thinking about how to develop a character, most authors rely on what the character does and says (as J.D. Salinger did in his first famous story about Seymour Glass, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish"). More sophisticated authors learn to include internal dialogue to expand the reader's view, as James Joyce did so well in Ulysses.

But a real person exists also through the perceptions of those whose lives are influenced by the person's existence. J.D. Salinger employs two extreme versions of such perspectives in these two longer stories that were first published in The New Yorker.

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters brings Buddy Glass (Seymour's slightly younger brother) to New York for Seymour's wedding day. Right away, there's a problem: Seymour isn't in sight. Buddy finds himself attached to a part of the wedding party that doesn't realize he's the missing groom's brother. It's a bit like watching a tornado unfold at a distance and then noticing to your chagrin that the tornado is headed your way. Everyone will like this story. The surface story is compelling and easy to follow. Pay attention to the little things. There's lots of wonderful symbolism here.

When Seymour: An Introduction came out, many people didn't get it. Today, many still don't. Buddy Glass is ostensibly talking to the reader . . . but not really. It's more of an internal monologue with complete sentences and good spelling (Virginia Woolf's approach in Mrs. Dalloway) where we see two Glasses (Buddy and Seymour) reflecting and refracting one another from Buddy's perspective. Buddy characterizes what he's doing as a semi-diary with no dates. If that seems a bit claustrophobic, it is. Be sure to read all of J.D. Salinger's other works first so that you'll be more used to his writing style. The work is painstakingly gorgeous . . . and intriguing. You'll never think about perception in quite the same way again.

"Seymour once said that all we do our whole lives is go from one little piece of Holy Ground to the next. Is he never wrong?"

The latter work has lots of references to various spiritual perspectives, but it's certainly not a theological work . . . rather a view of life colored with spiritual insight. You may not agree with Salinger's spiritual perspective. Don't be surprised. I don't think many people do. Enjoy this as a work of astonishingly deliberate and effective character development, in which the character isn't present.

Masterful, Mr. Salinger . . . just masterful!
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