HOLDEN CAULFIELD GOES ONLINE

By Glenn Gaslin
Updated November 16, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

It’s been cherished by countless sensitive teens as a mirror of their own youthful detachment — and condemned by several libraries as being unfit for young readers. Certainly, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye has lost none of its poignant power since its publication 50 years ago. And in the years since, the book has found several homes on the Web, including this oft-visited unofficial site run by Denver-based software engineer Suzanne Morine (geocities.com/exploring_citr). She explains in the site’s FAQ how she turned the world of prep-schooler Holden Caulfield into a hypertexty encyclopedia of ’50s pop culture: ”I had been thinking that it would be funny to have a list of all of the characters in the book.” This grew into a massive index of phrases and movie stars (by her count, phony is mentioned 37 times; Peter Lorre, once). Morine then posted maps and photos tracing Holden’s New York City wanderings — the ice rink, the benches in Grand Central Station — to create something akin to a Catcher movie. But, as Holden says, ”if there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies.” As for the famously reclusive Salinger himself — well, it looks like we’ll never know.

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