Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Walking in Holden Caulfield's footsteps through Manhattan"

Holden Caulfield was a flâneur. That's not generally how we think of him, this archetype of adolescent alienation, this detester of phonies, this poor little lost boy whose voice — by turns knowing, childlike, cynical and bereft — drives J.D. Salinger's iconic 1951 novel, "The Catcher in the Rye." Yet, from the moment, about a quarter of the way through the book, he arrives by train at Manhattan's now-demolished original Pennsylvania Station building, he is our guide on one of the 20th century's great literary walking tours.

The pond at the south end of Central Park is an object of fascination for J.D. Salinger's narrator, who wonders what becomes of the ducks when it ices over.

(Jennifer S. Altman)

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