Salinger, Jerome David

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Salinger, Jerome David


Born Jan. 1, 1919, in New York City. American writer.

Salinger served in the US Army during World War II. In his early short stories, published in the collection Nine Stories (1959), Salinger depicted the spiritual trauma of young Americans upon their confrontation with self-interest and utilitarianism. He attained world renown with his novel The Catcher in the Rye (1951; Russian translation, 1960), in which the adolescent hero runs away from home and spends several days in the “adult” world, with its false values. The young man contrasts the wretched practicality of “average Americans” to humaneness, imagination, and sensitivity to beauty. This type of hero occupied an important place in Western literature about youth in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Similar characters are drawn in the stories about the Glass family, including Franny and Zooey (1961) and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters (1963).

Salinger’s prose is characterized by lyricism, musicality, and a unique philosophical quality, which can be traced to his interest in Zen.


Nine Stories. New York, 1963.
In Russian translation:.
Nad propast’iu vo rzhi. Vyshe stropila, plotniki ... [2nd ed.]. [Moscow] 1967.


Orlova, R. Potomki Gekl’berri Finna. Moscow, 1964.
Salinger: A Critical and Personal Portrait. New York, 1962.
French, W. J. D. Salinger. New York, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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