HAPWORTH 16 1924 PDF

Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye , written in the form of a 28,word letter from a seven-year-old child at summer camp. No one could know it at the time, but this story was to mark one of the longest and most fascinating silences in literary history. Shortly after the story appeared, Salinger retreated into his reclusive rural New Hampshire home, and never published anything again in his lifetime. One of the most common criticisms leveled against the Glass stories was that Salinger was writing them purely for himself, at the price of alienating his readers. The narrator, Seymour Glass, is frequently held up as bastion of human intelligence in the earlier Glass stories, and even as something approaching an enlightened spiritual guru. Amid all of this, however, the story does have a strange kind of structure, though it is one of circularity.

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Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye , written in the form of a 28,word letter from a seven-year-old child at summer camp. No one could know it at the time, but this story was to mark one of the longest and most fascinating silences in literary history.

Shortly after the story appeared, Salinger retreated into his reclusive rural New Hampshire home, and never published anything again in his lifetime. One of the most common criticisms leveled against the Glass stories was that Salinger was writing them purely for himself, at the price of alienating his readers.

The narrator, Seymour Glass, is frequently held up as bastion of human intelligence in the earlier Glass stories, and even as something approaching an enlightened spiritual guru. Amid all of this, however, the story does have a strange kind of structure, though it is one of circularity. Moments from the beginning have their corresponding counterparts at the end, and yet nothing is really tied up neatly. By revealing too much of Seymour, who had previously been conspicuously physically absent from most of the Glass stories, Salinger shatters the enigma, and reveals the man behind the curtain.

I am utterly fallible! You have no right to the fruits of work. The story itself remains ambiguous, and a thorn in the side of Salinger fans and scholars alike. Nonetheless, the exaggerated critical drubbing it received should not put new readers off, and it remains, undeniably, a true original. In that sense, at least, he succeeded. It is available to read in The Complete New Yorker.

All quotations by Roger Lathbury are from personal email correspondences. Become a member today.

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Hapworth 16, 1924 (J.D. Salinger)

Surely sixty to eighty per cent of the time, to my eternal amusement and sorrow, that magnificent, elusive, comical lad is engaged elsewhere! As you must know in your hearts and bowels, we miss you all like sheer hell. Unfortunately, I am far from above hoping the case is vice versa. This is a matter of quite a little humorous despair to me, though not so humorous.

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See also: J. Salinger — In Memoriam For many Salinger fans, securing a copy of Hapworth 16, will at first seem an exceptional boon. The book will be purchased on impulse, eagerly opened on a bus or in a nearby coffeehouse—and, despite its unusual brevity for a book, probably never finished. Lest we doubt that seven-year-olds typically write 20, word letters, we quickly recall that this is the same Seymour Glass who entered college at 16, earned his Ph. He is characterized as eccentric, intelligent, and perhaps too fond of children, but we hear nothing of his superlative spiritual powers, nor of the Glass family as such. In neither Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters which depicts his wedding day nor Seymour: An Introduction a formless hagiography by Buddy is Seymour treated as a character in any traditional sense: i.

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“Hapworth 16, 1924” Revisited

Buddy has just received a registered mail from his mother, Bessie. Opening it, he discovered a letter written by Seymour to his family back in The letter is addressed from the infirmary of Camp Simon Hapworth, Maine, where Seymour and Buddy spent the summer when they were seven and five. It is an extremely long letter and a mass of contradictions that display Seymour embroiled in a kind of tug-of-war between spiritual maturity and the confines of his earthly young age. Seymour tells the story of how he gashed his leg on a cart wheel and has been sent to the camp infirmary, where the letter is written. Some portions of the letter are shocking. Seymour sternly lectures his parents and siblings while relentlessly issuing them orders.

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