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am 12. Februar 2004
Gerade, wenn man einiges mehr von Salinger kennt, muss man sich zwangsläufig fragen, was "Seymour:an Introduction" eigentlich sein soll bzw. soll. Was will Salinger dem Leser mit dieser verhackstückten, wirr anmutenden Notizensammlung mitteilen? Es muss die Liebe zu seinem idealen Seymour Glass gewesen sein, die hier sogar anscheinend größer ist, als Salingers Fähigkeit, sie in eine Form zu bringen (?). Aber man übe doch Nachsicht, denn wenn man erstmal drin ist, ist es doch ganz nett zu lesen. Und: "Raise High", das ist die Hauptsache, ist eine von Salingers schönsten Geschichten, für mich sogar seine Schönste überhaupt, noch vor jeder der "Nine Stories". So viel Salinger-humor, -feinfühligkeit, -sehnsucht und -traurigkeit zusammen gibt es nur hier.
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am 24. Juni 1998
Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters is a beautiful short story that nearly anybody with any semblance of taste will like. Not much comment needed there.
Seymour, however, is different. In every respect. From everything. I suppose that if you aren't already siblings with Seymour and Buddy then you won't like it very much. But if you are! Nowhere else in literature has an author written a book that makes the reader feel like he or she is reading the personal ramblings of his closest friend and confidante. This work is totally unique.
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am 16. Juni 1999
Carpenters and Seymour are the two most underread and underrated works written by Salinger. In Seymour, Salinger exhibits all the honesty and vulnerability and pure "non-phonyness" that the irreplaceable Holden Caulfield sought in the world around him. Catcher in the Rye is trendy. Seymour: An Introduction is great.
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am 30. März 1999
Self indulgent? Yes. Fabulous? Yes. Nobody who is railing against this installment of the Glass series can possible be a writer themselves. Look at the themes, metaphysical and otherwise, and then look at the delivery. Beautiful. And wordy. But beautiful.
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am 27. Januar 1999
I found it to be very boring because of the character Seymour. There was nothing about him I could relate to. I'm not even sure what this book is about - It was just that awful.
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am 24. Februar 2000
The first story Raise High the Roofbeams, Carpenters, has our hero trying to make excuses for his brother Seymour (who would later kill himself in Perfect Day for Bananafish) to the family of the bride that he just stood up. Seymour is a very haunting and intriguing individual, both wise and foolish at once. You just wonder about the rest of your friends who seem intelligent in many ways and complete idiots in other ways. Through hints and small things, you have a picture of a deeply disturbed man that his brother can barely grasp.
The second story is horrible. it wants to be about Seymour but its about that damn brother more than anything. "I just got sick so I couldn't write...", "I'm sitting in my room thinking about Seymour" and the portrayal we get of Seymour is superficial. Maybe that's the point, in that no one really knows anyone else. (although the hint that Seymour is the basis for Holden Caulfield is extremely intriguing) but how much do we have to hear about chic trends like Buddhism and ethnicity (our grandfather was Jewish, it says in a Zen Koan, etc.)that just aren't so cool anymore (he even takes potshots at Kerouac and folks, maybe because they were having fun with Zen.)
So the breakdown is five stars for the first story, 2 stars for the second story. If this is the story that sent Salinger into retirement because the critics were hurting his feelings, good riddance.
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am 18. Mai 1998
In the late sixties, just out of High School,I was handed a copy of Franny and Zooey.(should I add that it was beautiful young lady)The craft Salinger displayed in delivering a message so influential in my understanding of Religion,(Christ, Zen etc.) was without peer. Having just retired 21 or so Kerouac novels I felt enlightened. Jack Kerouac provided an appropriate vehicle for what proved to be a generally vicarious lifestyle. Until now. ( Back in a minute) Many associates chose Kerouac as inspiration for their own adventures, I have always admired that. ( The point ) Salinger was so powerful in F.& Z. That I avoided all of his other books for fear of being disapointed. Inspired by a discussion with another beautiful, very intelligent young lady I found myself re-reading F.&Z. and falling in love with it again. This time however, I decided to consume all of Salingers' works. I was amazed at the energy and passion displayed in the first few pages of Seymour. The master of elegant and supremely eloquent sentence structure had found himself delivering Kerouacian run ons and non stop paragraphs with balloon captions in the form of wonderful parenthetical comments and reckless displays of footnotes. What a good time this read was! The spirit of a generation (s) with the emphasis of the soul of a generation (Kerouac, This review doesn't allow footnotes so this will have to do, Kerouac, in "Satori in Paris" mentions a character with Seymour Glass like hands, a wonderful tribute to the humanization of Buddy's description ) (My minutes up) Now as a late forties guy with all the usual complaints recognize the need for the reckless abandon and seek the poetry in all things as outlined by Buddy at forty and pronounced as necessary by Kerouac at 43 (Satori ). In conclusion, The philosophic deliverance in F&Z is continued through the humanity of Seymour. The result is no less inspiring to an adult as it was to a teenager. Read it and enjoy its simplicity and elegance with just the right amount! of appropriate vocabulary to make you appreciate 50's literacy.
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am 10. Juli 1998
Buddy is the narrator of both the stories in this volume, so we can expect Salinger to stand in for Buddy in most of the pages. I'll declare up front that to me Seymour: An Introduction is the best piece of written text that has been published. The experimental monologue, which borders on the stream of conscience, is marvelously accomplished. The business about the bird watching, and Gog, the attitude (in italics) of it all is so very special, at the same time repellent and endearing. Buddy (and Salinger) is a profound and complex (and profoundly complex) human being, who by definition annoys other people because of his unclassifiable persona, but holds the key to many, many wonderful perspectives about life and God, and how should one take the dissapointments about both.
OK, now you can tear this review into pieces, but write to me while you're doing it, and remember to drop a line to Gog, the real flesh-and-bone Seymour, who also happens to be my dog.
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am 24. Januar 1998
I love RHTRBC - it catches so many little details about people, it's kind of funny in the way reality is, it's as warm and empathic as Salinger generally is. I love Seymour too, although I'd be less likely to recommend it, I think it takes a certain kind of pensive reader who has absolutely no concern for "the story." It's the kind of thing I wish I'd get paid for writing, yet doubt I could pull off so well as easily as I think, an unstructured memoir, sort of stuttering in places about an obsession you can't quite get out, will never be happy with how you express it because it's not all yours to express. I do wonder if the author means for Seymour to be seen as the flawless near-angel his brother sees him as, or is it more a study in the effects he (the admiration and his suicide) had on his brother, but even if he meant the former, I always settle on viewing it as the latter.
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am 14. März 1997
Each of us, as readers, has a book (at least one, maybe more) that we can honestly say has changed our life, or at very least our outlook on life. For me, and many other Salingerians, this is the one. This book, I feel, is Salinger's masterpiece, more so even than the timeless "Catcher in the Rye", this book captures so much of what Salinger has to say about people, poetry, spirituality, and life itself in all its complexity. These stories are two of (Salinger's narrative alter-ego) Buddy Glass's tales of his older brother Seymour. In them we see first the gross misunderstanding of Seymour by his shallow in-laws (brilliantly characterized), then the full and knowing true understanding of Seymour by his brother. It is a truly touching and magnificent piece of literature by one of the 20th century's greats
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