I’m reading “Nine Stories” by J.D. Salinger, and let me tell you, what an amazing book!. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, I strongly recommend it. It’s a short book, worst case scenario you won’t lose too much time.
Funny story about the book is that I found it because I was looking for stories to read or recount to my girlfriend at night. It’s something that we occasionally do and enjoy. So, after Googling “short stories” I downloaded this book hoping to find nine short and simple stories —yes, I know, what an ignorant!.—
While the stories in the book are very easy to read, they are not so easy to understand. They portray strong topics such as alienation, war, craziness, and children’s feelings. The ability of Salinger to describe what a youngster is feeling is exceptional, at least for me.
What strikes me about reading the book, is that I often find a piece of my 8 year-old-self in some of the characters. Feelings that I completely forgot I felt, and I do not feel anymore because I’m on the other side now, I’m a grown up!.
Feelings like not being understood by adults, and not understanding them, seeking adventures on every corner, or —and I say this with a bit of shame— being so scared of girls that I saw them as “enemies”, they belonged to the other team.
Believe me, having this thought is wonderful and reminds me a bit of how I felt reading “The Little Prince”, although is a completely different kind of text.
The book also makes me wonder how much I understand about my family members. Am I aware of what they are really feeling? What is their understanding of the world? What are their problems, their concerns? Makes me wonder if I am acting as the adults in the book like they problems aren’t a big issue?
They don’t have to be a child for this to occur. This can be happening right now, a goddam soul can be suffering next to me. A soul that I appreciate and love.
It gets more complicated if you extrapolate this feeling to the humanity in general. How many people are in need of a hug or a kind word? Is it bad that I care more about my family members? What about lonely people?.
The last question that you may ask, and probably the most difficult one is: what about myself?…