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Bromancing Assassins and the Myth of the Great Writer Genius in Holden

"Holden" by Anisa George (Flyer courtesy of George & Co.)

“Holden” by Anisa George (Flyer courtesy of George & Co.)

In a vacuum, The Catcher in the Rye is a pretty straightforward story– not a whole lot happens. But if you’re at all familiar with American culture, you’re probably well aware that it has taken on an enormously prolific life of its own. Probably you read the book for school as a teen, or even a tween if you grew up here, and you might have noticed that it has a somewhat polarizing effect. If you identified with the book’s hero, a 17-year-old kid named Holden Caulfield, anyone else who shared this affinity was an OK person too. But plenty of people just don’t get Holden’s misanthropic cynicism, and it’s weird, but there seems to be a built-in emotional trigger point here for those who do: clearly the haters must be “phonies” then, too. As time goes on, and teenage angst either subsides or turns into something else, like, playing in a black metal band or four-martini lunch hours, Holden’s frustration with the world’s many, many disappointments seems more like kid stuff. And most people realize that, OK not everyone is such a phony after all. But not everyone lets go of Holden so easily.

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J. D. Salinger Returned to Greenwich Village Today, as Rebel in the Rye Filmed

(Photo: Laurie Gwen Shapiro)

(Photo: Laurie Gwen Shapiro)

Holden Caulfield once said that “people never notice anything,” but we couldn’t help but notice that a new biopic about J. D. Salinger was filming at Caffe Reggio today.

Laurie Gwen Shapiro, a regular at the 89-year-old coffeehouse on Macdougal Street, told us she was one of many who couldn’t get her usual caffeine fix there today.

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