Saturday, March 24, 2007
franny & zooey
i read this a couple of years ago, but i don't know where my copy went (unless it was borrowed). so i ordered another copy and when i got home yesterday and found it in my mail, i promptly sat down and read it straight through.
in some ways it was better than i remembered, and in other ways more irritating. the narrator seems a little too enamored with his characters and their brilliance, attractiveness, and eccentric family dynamics. also with their endless cigarettes and cigars and where they are placed and how they go out and are relit and so on.
yet the frustration of these young adults with the superficialities of society and academia rings true. their critical stance, and then the realization that the disdain is itself an ugly, destructive force, and the resulting despair--all this is expressed well, even if it takes a long time, and the conversation circles and circles and circles again.
zooey and franny grapple with cliches and easy answers from their philosophical and religious upbringing and seem to arrive at a sort of peace by the last page.
i think i read it too fast, but then again, i'm not sure i could have lingered more slowly in the maddening meandering without losing the train of thought completely.