RIP J.D. Salinger

I have gone back and forth on drafts for this post, mainly to justify its inclusion in a blog about “Hebrew Bible and Higher Education.” Let’s keep it simple, starting with the simple and plaintive fact that some of the most joyful reading hours of my life I continue to owe to Salinger. Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters and Franny and Zooey have ever been part of my essential, more or less annual, reading.

On Bible: his characters, especially the nearly omnipresent Glass family, seek God as incessantly, as devotedly, as intelligently, and with as much pleasure and sacrifice, as any of the holiest creatures I have had the pleasure to know.

On education: what could I add to the words of Buddy Glass, on the twenty-four young ladies (not one of whom, he is led to discover, “is not as much my sister as Boo Boo or Franny”) awaiting him, essays in hand, in room 307:

They may shine with the misinformation of the ages, but they shine.

Until raised in glory, let him rest clothed in the gratitude of all who are transformed by his art.

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