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Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Norman Rush
The Unknown University
Roberto Bolaño, Laura Healy
Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion since 1960 (20/21)
Amy Hungerford
The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays
James Wood
Franny and Zooey - J.D. Salinger

The blurb above, by the author, suggests that the two ‘stories’ included in this volume are, in fact, separate stories. Wikipedia, the source of all information easily obtained, and perhaps even correct and/or true, suggests the volume contains a short story and a novella. I, and others, will suggest to you that, regardless of origin and intent, this volume works very well as a novel. Nothing I’d care to fight over, argue about, or stake reputation on, just sayin.’

In the Franny section (chapter), we meet a giddy Franny Glass, through a letter announcing her excitement to be seeing soon and love for, one Lane Coutell, Lit major. Very shortly after her arrival, her enthusiasm wanes, a wariness of phonyism (a la Holden Caulfield) is voiced, and both may have something to do with a newfound interest in constant prayer.

In the Zooey section (chapter), Buddy Glass, the narrator, describes the circumstances of his writing the stories of the Glass siblings, the concerns voiced by the three Glass family members who are the main characters in his ‘prose home movie,’ and reintroduces himself through a letter to his brother Zooey, who reads the letter while soaking in the bathtub before several confrontational exchanges with Franny and their mother, Bessie, on matters of family, religion, art, performance (action), and, yes, love. Acting matters. Embodiment matters. The world’s a stage, and so is the parlor. Let there be lights, camera, action. Amazing.

“Don’t you know that? Don’t you know that goddam secret yet? And don’t you know—listen to me, now—don’t you know who that Fat Lady really is?. . . Ah, buddy. Ah buddy. It’s Christ Himself. Christ Himself, buddy.”

I read this to be familiar with title given its prominence in the beginning section of [b:Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion Since 1960|7861847|Postmodern Belief American Literature and Religion Since 1960|Amy Hungerford|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348395632s/7861847.jpg|11013033], by Amy Hungerford. A very interesting classroom discussion of F&Z by Hungerford, full of the spoilers I’ve omitted, may be found here. My advice with regard to the video is to read the story first, then to avoid some classroom rubric, skip to about 8.5 mins.

Go for it, esp. if you were forced to read The Catcher in the Rye in school and were left wondering what the all the Salinger fuss is about.