Saturday, December 16, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

J. D. Salinger

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If there is an amateur reader still left in the world — or anybody who just reads and runs — I ask him or her, with untellable affection and gratitude, to split the dedication of this book four ways with my wife and children.

 
J. D. Salinger

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To say that an author is a reader or a reader an author, to see a book as a human being or a human being a book, to describe the world as text or a text as the world, are ways of naming the readers craft.

 
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No one ever reads a book. He reads himself through books, either to discover or to control himself. And the most objective books are the most deceptive. The greatest book is not the one whose message engraves itself on the brain, as a telegraphic message engraves itself on the ticker-tape, but the one whose vital impact opens up other viewpoints, and from writer to reader spreads the fire that is fed by the various essences, until it becomes a vast conflagration leaping from forest to forest.

 
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I repeat, bullshit. Pull your head out of your ass for a moment and look at this not as a long time comic book reader, but as a civilian. This looks like a comic book, feels like a comic book, smells like a comic book, tastes like a comic book. No “uninitiated” person is going to look at this and think “Ah! This lurid cover illustration indicates this book must be intended for mature readers!” They are going to think “Look what they are selling to my children!!”* And those children are going to think “Co-o-o-o-o-o-ol!!!”

 
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[when his wife sees that he has given the kids cake for breakfast] I've always heard about people having a conniption, but I've never seen one. You don't want to see 'em. My wife's face... SPLIT! The skin and hair split and came off of her face so that there was nothing except the SKULL! And orange light came out of her hair and it lit all around! And fire SHOT from her eye sockets and began to burn my stomach! And she said, "WHERE DID THEY GET CHOCOLATE CAKE FROM?" And I said, "They asked for it!" And the children who had been singing praises to me... LIED on me and said, "Uh-uh! We asked for eggs and milk... AND DAD MADE US EAT THIS!!" And my wife sent me... to my room! Which is where I wanted to go in the first place. So you see? We men are dumb, but we are not so dumb. It takes great brain power and work to avoid working.

 
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By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss-waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will remain split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of barroom vernacular, this is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed and attentive. The method may not be perfect, but it is all I have.

 
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