"As humans, we waste the shit out of our words. It’s sad. We use words like “awesome” and “wonderful” like they’re candy. It was awesome? Really? It inspired awe? It was wonderful? Are you serious? It was full of wonder? You use the word “amazing” to describe a goddamn sandwich at Wendy’s. What’s going to happen on your wedding day, or when your first child is born? How will you describe it? You already wasted “amazing” on a fucking sandwich."
"There ought to be one place you thought about and knew about and maybe longed for—but never did get to see."
"If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape."
"When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire kind people."
"It was good to walk into a library again; it smelled like home."
— Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian
July 16, 1951: Catcher in the Rye is Published
On this day in 1951, J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, was published. The novel, which was about a troubled 16-year-old named Holden Caulfield, exemplified common feelings of teenage angst and a resistance to growing up. The Catcher in the Rye became one of the most important English novels of the 20th century.
Watch this NewsHour piece about J.D. Salinger’s lasting influence on American literature.
Photo: The Catcher in the Rye. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1951 (Library of Congress).
- Camera: Phase One P 65+
- Exposure: 1/8th
"We are students of words; we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing."
"The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions."