Friday, July 17, 2009

Catcher in the Rye excerpts

I promised them, and then I forgot. Here's one sibling loss related excerpt from Catcher in the Rye. It's Holden, talking about not liking to go visit his brother's grave.

"When the weather's nice, my parents go out quite frequently and stick a bunch of flowers on old Allie's grave. I went with them a couple of times, but I cut it out. In the first place, I certainly don't enjoy seeing him in that crazy cemetary. Surrounded by dead guys and tombstones and all. It wasn't too bad when the sun was out, but twice--twice--we were there when it started to rain. It was awful. It rained on his lousy tombstone, and it rained on the grass on his stomach. It rained all over the place. All the visitors that were visiting the cemetary started running like hell over to their cars. That's what nearly drove me crazy. All the visitors could get in their cars and turn on their radios and all and then go someplace nice for dinner--everybody except Allie. I couldn't stand it. I know it's only his body and all that's in the cemetary, and his soul's in Heaven and all that crap, but I couldn't stand it anyway. I just wish he wasn't there. You didn't know him. If you'd known him, you'd know what I mean. It's not too bad when the sun's out, but the sun only comes out when it feels like coming out."


j.m.m. said...

thanks for posting this. it's one of my favorite books as well. I had forgotten that Holden's sibling died.

my sister died in january at age 46 from complications in childbirth. on monday i head back east for vacation, to see my parents, as well as my sister's two pre-teenagers. We will all go visit the cemetary for the first time where my parents have her ashes buried. I am absolutely dreading that. My mind cannot take the thought that this is my sister, buried here. That my sister has a headstone marking her grave. These are thoughts my mind cannot think - it rips my heart out to think these things. Yet they are reality.

thank you for your blog. i appreciate all that you post.


Elizabeth said...

Hi J. I owe you an apology--you emailed me back in march, when i was travelling and without a babysitter, and i put it aside to respond to until i got back to the sanity of a normal schedule. i've been behind and now your email is buried beneath a bunch of current stuff--i will find it and respond! i'm so sorry. and i am so sorry about your sister. you know, it took me ten years to go back to my brother's grave, after his funeral. it was wrenching, and i had all the same thoughts holden did--i couldn't stand that it rained and snowed on him. and i got go to go home, and i had to leave him there. i think the reality is hard to tolerate, some days harder than others. a friend of mine just lost a brother, and i'm sick for her, thinking of those mornings when you wake up and then realize, oh yes, it really did happen.