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Do today's teens hate Holden Caulfield?

Rye Great story by the New York Times on how today's kids think the once-beloved narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an overprivileged, whiny punk, not the "beautiful loser" - the writer's phrase, not mine -  we were all taught that he was. I have no way of telling if this is a generally true feeling among high school kids or whether it's merely true among the overprivileged teenagers at New York private schools or whether the writer just wanted to write this story and cherrypicked quotes to reflect the premise (hey, anything's possible, and it's a good read).

And if kids do hate Holden, does that indicate smarts and a practical sensibility, a greater interest in the underprivileged (who don't get a day to roam around the city), intellectual laziness ("we're disaffected teens, we hate everything") or merely an inability to put literature in context? Part of what made Holden special way back in the day, I was told, was that nobody had really written in that particular voice before. I never particularly liked Elvis Presley, but I still can see why a 50s teenager would be smitten. Makes you wonder...


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It is a good read but I do have to think..."Who cares what they think?" They would probably all hate Faulkner and Martin Amis too...

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