A Reader’s Companion to J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye by Peter Beidler

A Reader’s Companion to J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye by Peter Beidler

Author:Peter Beidler [Beidler, Peter]
Language: eng
Format: azw3
Publisher: Coffeetown Press
Published: 2011-06-05T16:00:00+00:00

It was just one of those nights,

Just one of those fabulous flights,

A trip to the moon on gossamer wings,

Just one of those things.

Marco and Miranda “ ‘[D]id you ever hear of Marco and Miranda?’ ” (71). Marco and Miranda are apparently a dance team—possibly Flamenco dancers—in the 1940s, not otherwise identified. Their names, like that of Buddy Singer, are apparently made up.

Peter Lorre “ ‘I and my girl friends saw Peter Lorre last night,’ she said. ‘The movie actor. In person. He was buyin’ a newspaper. He’s cute’ ” (71). Peter Lorre (1904–1964), a Hungarian Jew raised in Vienna, left Germany not long after Hitler rose to power. He is most famous for playing sinister villains. In his first film as a speaker of English, he played a terrorist in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1934 thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much. He became an American citizen in 1941. See Figure 16 above for a photograph of him in a 1944 movie.

Seattle “ ‘Seattle, Washington,’ she said” (72). Seattle is about as far as they can be from New York and still be from the United States. One scholar, Robert P. Moore, thinks that the woman is a “blonde pickup” who lies to him when Holden asks where they are from. According to Moore, Holden sits with the three women “naively believing that they are really from Seattle, indignantly believing that they are going to bed early so that they can get up and see the first show at Radio City Music Hall, too youthfully obtuse to see what they were and what they thought of him” (“The World of Holden,” English Journal 54 [1965]: 163). I see no reason to doubt that the three are the naive ones, and that they really have come across the country to New York hoping to see a movie star.

the Stork Club, El Morocco “They probably thought movie stars always hung out in the Lavender Room when they came to New York, instead of the Stork Club or El Morocco and all” (73). The famous Stork Club, on East 53rd Street, dating from the late 1920s, drew such celebrities as Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe, J. Edgar Hoover, Frank Sinatra, and even John and Jackie Kennedy. Joyce Maynard says that Salinger had once been “a young man about town in Manhattan, taking Eugene O’Neill’s beautiful daughter, Oona, to places like the Stork Club” (At Home 172). El Morocco was a restaurant on East 54th Street known for its north African and Middle Eastern cuisine. In the 1940s and on through the early 1960s, El Morocco was famous for its jazz music.

Gary Cooper “So I told her I just saw Gary Cooper, the movie star, on the other side of the floor” (74). Gary Cooper (1901–1961), who acted in more than a hundred movies, won the best actor Academy Award for his role in High Noon—produced in 1951, the same year The Catcher in the Rye came out. Earlier, Gary Cooper had played the lead in two


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