Session #12: July 22nd, 2009 – “The Catcher in the Rye” and teenage skaz

Today’s topic is teenage skaz and the selected text is an excerpt from CatSTsalingercher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger.

The story follows Holden Caulfield‘s experiences in New York City in the days following his expulsion from Pencey Prep, a fictional college preparatory school in Pennsylvania.

As I wrote in the previous post,

This novel is written in a style called “skaz”: a Russian word (which to English ears suggests “skat” and “jazz”). It means, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

in Russian literature, a written narrative that imitates a spontaneous oral account in its use of dialect, slang, and the peculiar idiom of that persona.

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One thought on “Session #12: July 22nd, 2009 – “The Catcher in the Rye” and teenage skaz”

  1. In the skaz each word isn’t desperate nor sad, but combination of those words tells Holden’s devastating lonliness. This tanka gives readers similar impression to it.
    「ハロー 夜。ハロー 静かな霜柱。ハロー カップヌードルの海老たち。」穂村 弘

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