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“The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangement’s designed for men, who at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with. Or they thought their environment couldn’t supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before they ever really even got started.” p.207
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in a big field of rye and all... And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—...” p.191
“When we were at Whooton, he’d make you describe the most personal stuff that happened to you, but if you started asking him questions about himself, he got sore. These intellectual guys don’t like to have an intellectual conversation with you unless they’re running the whole thing.” p.163
“Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that’s impossible, but it’s too bad anyway.” p.136
“I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it. I even tried to break all the windows on the station wagon... It was a very stupid thing to do, I’ll admit, but I hardly didn’t even know I was doing it, and you didn’t know Allie.” p.44
I hope to hell that when I do die somebody has the sense to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetary. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.
“Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”
"I can't explain what I mean. And even if I could, I'm not sure I'd feel like it."
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.
All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she'd fall off the goddam horse, but I didn't say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off...
(Salinger, 273 – 274)
"Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around—nobody big, I mean—except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff...I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all."
(Salinger, 224 – 225)
"I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible."
"The mark of an immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."
“Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
“That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
"You can't hardly ever simplify and unify something just because somebody wants you to" (24.21).
"Lots of times you don't know what interests you most till you start talking about something that doesn't interest you most" (24.21).
"I hate actors. They never act like people. They just think they do."
“Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.”
“Yes, sir. I know it is. I know it.”
Game, my a**. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it’s a game, all right—I’ll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren’t any hot-shots, then what’s a game about it? Nothing. No game.