Monday, March 18, 2013

reads #14: february 2013

Nine stories (J.D. Salinger, 1953)

As the title may tell, Nine Stories is a collection of nine short stories. I wanted to read it as soon as I finished Franny and Zooey by the same author. I just wanted to know more about the fascinating Glass Family. It ends up that only three of those short stories mention them (A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut and Down at the Dinghy) but it didn't stop me from enjoying this collection tremendously. Of course, it is full of typical Salinger-esque misfits, my favourite short story was De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period, whose protagonist is the perfect hybrid between Holden Caulfield and Ignatius Reilly (who I realised both wear a hunting cap... is this some sort of symbol?).
But, the thing that struck me the most while reading this book is how similar J.D. Salinger actually was to another one of my favourite authors, Lewis Carroll. It might be a stretch, but I think they depict childhood's whimsy in the same way; and both seem to believe in amazing friendships between adults and kids.
After discovering that Wes Anderson based The Royal Tenenbaums on the Glass family, I kept my eyes peeled for any similarities. And maybe for that reason, the short story The Laughing Man, which is about a boy scout group, reminded me so much of Moonrise Kingdom. I couldn't help but imagining the character 'Chief' looking like Edward Norton as Scout Master Randy Ward.

Favourite Quote: Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They're always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions (from the short story Teddy)

The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, My Life, My tapes (Scott Frost, 1991)

This book is the transcription of the tape recordings of Dale Cooper from the age of 13, when he got his first recorder, 'til the day he gets the case of Laura Palmer's Murder in Twin Peaks (at 34).. The last two chapters of the book cover the investigation of Teresa Banks' murder mentioned in the film, Fire Walk With Me.
After reading The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this. I actually found they were interestingly complementary reads, like two faces of the same coin. While Laura is battling her way on the 'evil' path, Dale tries to keep his personal compass on the good one. The reason why Dale Cooper was the perfect agent for Twin Peaks becomes clear as you learn about his own experiences. But, it's not as a gloomy read as Laura's diary; it is really funny at times and you get to find out about the genesis of his love for cherry pies and those 'damn fine' cups of coffee.
I don't know if it's because I had just read Nine Stories before, but Dale Cooper struck me as a character that could have been spawned from Salinger's mind. What with his love for meditation (akin to Teddy's from Nine Stories) and his awkward disposition. There's a passage where he finds himself alone in NYC that reminded me so much of Holden Caulfied.  

Favourite quote: The past should remain firmly behind one. The present holds enough obstacles.

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Extra Solar said...

Oh, this is a post after my heart! Salinger is one of my favorites- I'm endlessly fascinated by the Glass family. Its been a long time since I read Nine Stories, maybe I should go back & revisit it. Dale Cooper is probably my #1 all time fictional crush! I had never heard of this book before somehow but now I absolutely MUST have it!

HighlandFling said...

I love Twin Peaks, I didn't know there was books! My Amazon wishlist has just been extended. Oh dear! Enjoy it, I wonder how many times he says Diane?

E x

moira said...

@Kelli: You will love 'My Life, My Tapes' then, i swear you could hear Coop's voice while reading #swoon
Did you read 'Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction'? If so what did you think of it? I must get it soon! x

@HighlandFling: Ha :) maybe not as many as you'd hope as he gets his secretary quite late in the book. Hope you'll enjoy the books! x

Satin and Souffles said...

That autobiography sounds really interesting! I will have to pick that up! ps. I LOVE Carson Mculler!

moira said...

oh do you have any recommendation for what book of hers i should read next? Not sure which I should get first. Thank you for your visit x

Gita said...

I'm a total Twin Peaks fan and that book gotta be mine ASAP :)! Ah, agent Cooper... <3 :) And that quote is pretty awesome.
Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog yo!
Have a fantastic weekend :)!


misslikey said...

I haven't read yet Nine Stories, and I didn't know he' s going back on the Glass family in few stories. Nice information. Now on my to read list! I love Franny and Zooey so much. Could read it always.

Extra Solar said...

I did read "Raise High.../Seymour" & it is definitely one of my favorites (though who am I kidding? They're all my favorites in their own way). In that one there's a letter written by Seymour to Buddy and it's just so sweet and warm and lovely. Reading about young Seymour, knowing what happens to him, made my heart hurt.

"Keep me up til five because all your stars are out, and for no other reason.." sigh.

Carissa Clark said...

Wow, just discovered your blog and I'm SO glad I did, I love it! New follower :)

I just read all the J.D. Salinger books + short stories last summer, it's so whimsical and really sweeps you away. The Royal Tenenbaums is one of my favorite movies, I didn't realize it was based on the Glass Family, now I feel like I have to re-read to further investigate haha.

Love this post! Thanks for sharing :)

moira said...

all these comments make me so happy, so much love for JD Salinger and Twin Peaks <3

@Kelli: thank you, this makes me want to read it even more x

@Clarissa Clark: thank you so much for your sweet words and for sharing your salinger-esque experience :) x

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