September 3, 2012

The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger
Slyvia Plath

The Roots of Contemporary Literature – Since The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951 and the poem "Daddy" was published in 1965, legions of young Salingers and young Plaths have filled thousands of classrooms in hundreds of writing workshops across America. These writers (and I am one) all, more so than less, seem to be telling one of two stories. It's either, "Daddy, Daddy, you bastard, I'm through," or, "If you want to know the truth, I'm a virgin. I really am." In part, that's a testament to the influence of Salinger and Plath in the second half of the 20th century. But it's also an indictment. Here, in the second decade of the 21st century, should we not have other stories to tell? And other ways in which to tell them?


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