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My Franny Days — An I.O.U.

Hello, all.  It has been a long time since I’ve posted anything new.  I’m sorry.  When the fall semester ended, I went on an unintended break from writing anything at all, but I hope to be back in the swing of things in a couple of weeks.

During the beginnings of each semester, some professors ask their students to talk about their favorite books.  And so the same happened in my online Literary Criticism class.  To be expected, instead of just saying, “My favorite book is ___,” we have free range for explanations.  As I was wondering what I could possibly do to give a couple of jolts to my blog, I decided to share with you my favorite book and why as I shared with my Lit Crit class (dating may be inaccurate, but I did it anyway):

When my older sister was in high school, she bought a copy of Franny & Zooey by JD Salinger.  I was still in middle school at the time, but after she read it, I snuck the book into my room.  I tried to read it then and there, but I didn’t quite understand what was going on, so I stuck the small, white-covered paperback onto my bookshelf and promptly forgot about it for years until I powered through The Catcher in the Rye, loved it, and remembered Franny & Zooey.  I went to read the book, then realized that Catcher had nothing, said nothing, and meant nothing in comparison to Franny & Zooey.  As soon as I could, I bought both Nine Stories and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction.  Salinger became an obsession before I could even breathe, but nothing quite stung me like Franny & Zooey.

Franny’s mannerisms, her prayers, her collapse–they felt much like mine, and I read her actions as tandem to my own.  Her depression, which seemed to arise from nowhere, paralleled my own, and her demands of God were too much like my own whiny-voiced complaints.  Then in walked Zooey.  Zooey’s discourse to Franny felt like a discourse to me (and Buddy’s letter to Zooey also felt like a letter to me).  Maybe reading myself into the book was a little bit dramatic, but I did it.  I did it because just like Franny was having a breakdown, I was having a breakdown, and I needed to be yelled at by Zooey as much as she did.  Zooey’s words–though sometimes I disagree with his theological points–helped to pull me out of my Franny phase where I saw more, but saw wrong.

To this day, if I wake up in the morning and feel the familiar depression, I pull Franny & Zooey off the shelf, read through my favorite parts, and ‘snap out of it.’  Franny & Zooey is one of my favorite books, and reading it is like reading color into a dark room.  The color was always there–you just have to turn on the light to see it.

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One thought on “My Franny Days — An I.O.U.

  1. Thanks for sharing. I love this and I love that you enjoy a set of books that I also loved as a teen. I, too, had to get/read them all. Ironically the thing that stuck with me most is that I did love them and that they were good books for me. But – don’t ask me the great or minor details of them – that did not stick as well.

    Now, if I could just interest you in a good, amusing mystery – I have an entire hallway that would delight you…

    ❤ U

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