J'ai acheté ce livre pour remplacer un exemplaire que j'avais perdu. A l'occasion, j'ai relu ces nouvelles. Presque toutes sont des chef d'oeuvres, qui vous tordent le coeur avec rien du tout. Ma préférée : For Esmé...
Nine Stories kept me turning pages all night through. It is an enjoyable collection to read. Salinger emerged as witty, penetrating, humurous and very knowing. He is a fresh breath of to short story writing.Short stories by Chekhov, The Usurper and Other Stories, Runaway,Union Moujik stand on my shelves as fine and hilarious short story collections to read
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
88 internautes sur 95 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Classic Salinger12 juillet 2000
- Publié sur Amazon.com
J.D. Salinger has rightfully been one of the most highly praised authors of the 20th century. Although best known for his coming-of-age novel, The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger also wrote brilliant short stories of great complexity. This is quite an accomplishment when one considers the fact that the short story poses problems the novel easily overcomes. Salinger's skillful use of language is what distinguishes him most from his contemporaries. There is never a dull moment in a Salinger short story as this expert author intertwines detail and dialogue to convey emotion to the reader. Although the short story leaves little room for character development, Salinger's superb style and careful use of language allow us to get to know his characters intimately in a very short period of time. The stories included in Salinger's dazzling collection, Nine Stories, were published between 1948 and 1953 in The New Yorker. They exhibit a unified tone and theme, something not usually found in short story collections. They are classic Salinger and classic stories; each one contributes to the volume as a whole and each is therefore enriched in its relation to the others. Although people disagree on which story is best, each contains elements of the relationship between children and adults, one of Salinger's signature themes. Two of the stories, A Perfect Day for Bananafish and For Esmé--With Love and Squalor, both feature protagonists (Seymour and Sargent X) who, as veterans of WWII, have sacrificed their psychological well-being and are no longer the men they once thought they were. Both feel alienated from life and, more importantly, from those they love. Both protagonists are searching for new forms of comfort and security in the respective characters of Sybil and Esmé. Here, however, the similarities end. For Sybil lacks Esmé's insight and the final outcome for Seymour is very different than that of Sargent X and perhaps different than what it could have been. In A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Seymour's wife, Muriel, goes to great lengths to reassure her mother regarding Seymour's soundness of mind, although Salinger carefully lets us, the reader, glimpse Seymour's paranoia. Searching for the non-judgmental understanding of a child (but the love of an adult), Seymour befriends young Sybil, a child he's met on the beach. After realizing the impossibility of his desires and his own isolation, Seymour is driven to one last, desperate act, an act that makes some question his sanity while others will see him as finally regaining the control he had lost. In For Esmé--With Love and Squalor, Sargent X also has a relationship with a child, but it is one that is quite different from that of Seymour and Sybil. An intelligent and vivacious girl, Esmé lost her own father in North Africa and is quite aware of the horrors of war. When she approaches Sargent X in an English tearoom, she senses his isolation and resultant alienation and offers to write him, something Sargent X immediately agrees to. Thirty minutes after their meeting, Esmé takes her leave of Sargent X with the words, "I hope you return with all your faculties intact." Had it not been for Esmé, however, and the letter she writes, Sargent X would not have returned with all his faculties intact. Esmé's letter provides the one certain connection to reality and the constancy of day-to-day life that Sargent X needs. It both comforts him and reassures him that there is still some happiness out there to be found. At a time when the war has left him with nothing else to relate to, Esmé provides the needed link. In this extraordinary collection of stories we find different people in different situations, yet a common thread of life runs through all, linking the stories to one another and to readers everywhere. This is only a small part of the genius that typifies J.D. Salinger. Read this book and I guarantee, like millions of readers before, you'll come back for more!
47 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Looks deeply at our society16 janvier 2002
P. Nicholas Keppler
- Publié sur Amazon.com
In Nine Stories, J.D. Salinger seems bent on exposing the poignant complexities of the people around us. The characters of these timeless narratives are typical American men and women, nestled away in suburbs; unwinding on summer retreats and buried in apartment complexes; folks who, on the surface, seem fortunate and content. Mr. Salinger peels past their public appearances, throwing them conundrums bound to expose their hidden insecurities, shortcomings and naivety. A visit from a college roommate causes an upheaval of reflection and regret in a suburban housewife in "Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut;" romantic turmoil unearths a mean streak in the chief of a boy scout-type organization in "the Laughing Man" and Seymour Glass, the burnt-out intellectual whose presence would loom over Salinger's latter work, falls over the edge in the intense, unpredictable, unforgettable classic, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish." Fifty years after they were conceived these characters could still be your neighbors or schoolmates. The vivid portraits of Nine Stories are practical assessments for the modern American dream.
30 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Salinger's Best Novel?3 février 2006
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Because this collection of short stories features children in most of them, some dismiss it as kiddie lit in the same vein as Salinger's "Catcher In The Rye," a great novel but read more in high school than anywhere else. Many see it as the beginning of Salinger's ascent to his mountain of impenetrability and Glass-centric navel gazing. Both grasp parts of the elephant, but miss a larger fact. "Nine Stories" is, story-for-story, one of the most beguiling marriages of disciplined fiction-writing and metaphysical inquiry.
"The most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid," notes the narrator of the most liquid story in this collection, "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period." It seems to me that line is a key for understanding Salinger's unique approach, as well as why so many people are put off by him.
Salinger's fiction doesn't read like anyone else's, especially when you move beyond "Catcher." "Nine Stories" is the most mainstream, and also most engaging and best-written, example of his Zen approach to fiction, both in substance and form. He was more interested in communicating feelings and inner perceptions than plots or even ideas, and this liquidity feels somehow wrong in the light of stories we usually read.
But these stories actually work quite well, not just in isolation but in tandem. The first and the last story, "A Perfect Day For Bananafish" and "Teddy," play off each other, a senseless death in one story being explained by the patient, precocious narrator in the other. What are represented in one story as "bananafish" and the other as "apple-eaters" are the grasping throngs of people, bad and good, who reach out for material delights and miss out on the greater, encompassing music of life, and the bookend tales take stock, in a wry yet deeply beguiling way, of those who hear that music and are isolated for it.
Witty yet sincere, funny but tragic, each of the stories hits you differently. Not all are bullseyes. "Down At The Dinghy" and "Just Before The War With The Eskimos" leave me a bit flat and suffer most from Salinger's disinterest in plot. But "For Esme - With Love And Squalor" truly deserves its reputation as one of the most searing and uplifting stories in American fiction, while "The Laughing Man" is my personal favorite as it details a doomed romance from the perspective of a child onlooker, with the ingenious device of a rambling campfire tale that sets you up for the big fall.
Salinger wrote fiction like no one else, as cosmic riddles (or "koans" as Zen Buddhists would call them) meant to engage one spiritually rather than intellectually. The literati may dismiss him, but he wasn't writing for them but instead for the lost people of his world, the girl with the big nose who stays in her room when guests arrive or the quiet guy who lives with his mom, telling them that they are loved and in a better place than they know.
It's true Salinger took this approach, in later works, to where it became harder to read him, and less rewarding. But "Nine Stories" is the distilled essence of his vision in perfect digestible form, an episodic novel of people at crossroads in their lives coming to terms with their places in the cosmos. If he flushed his brilliant talent down the drain following this muse, "Nine Stories" shows he at least did so with the best of intentions.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Over Fifty Years Later, Still an Amazing Collection of Original Fiction5 avril 2010
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I've always had a "love/hate" relationship with NINE STORIES. I want to regard the stories with the esteem that critics and other writers have accorded it throughout the years; but while Salinger's talent for creating characters, conveying dialogue, and capturing subtle emotional moods is undeniable, there's a quality of strangeness and superficiality to the stories that has always given me pause...
NINE STORIES opens with "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" -- a strange story, and the one that made Salinger famous. Seymour Glass (who will figure prominently in much of Salinger's later fiction) is a WWII veteran who suffers from some sort of psycho-emotional problem stemming from his wartime experiences. While honeymooning with his wife in Florida, Seymour spends a day on the beach outside their hotel playing with a young girl while his wife remains in their hotel room, talking on the phone to her mother. Later, Seymour returns to his hotel room where his wife is asleep, and blows his brains out. The story was probably shocking when it was first published in 1948, but today it seems odd and peculiar; and Seymour's untimely death seems too sudden and inexplicable. Suicide is always tragic; but what has always disturbed me more than the suicide is the subtle suggestion in the story of (Dare I say it, and tread unkindly on Salinger holy ground?) pedophilia. Is that why Seymour kills himself? Or is it because of his psychological problems? Or something else entirely? I don't know; but my first impression when I read "Bananafish" years ago was that Seymour is a borderline pedophile, and that's the same impression I had when I recently re-read the story. Unfortunately, right or wrong, first impressions are sometimes lasting impressions.
"De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period" is another strange story -- about a guy who takes a job at an art-correspondence school in Canada, where he teaches his students to paint by mail. To one of the students -- who happens to be a nun - he writes long, intimate letters (Salinger, by way, was known for writing long letters to his love interests). She never responds, and he eventually experiences some sort of mystical revelation that enables him to let her go her way. "Daumier-Smith" is one of my favorite Salinger stories, with its blend of caricatures, deadpan humor, mystical bedpans, and speed-of-light revelations. Weird? Yes; but the weirdness works in this story, because the story reads like a dream, and weird things happen in dreams. The prose is smooth and slick -- the hallmark of Salinger's writing style -- and it's easy to get caught up in it, to drift along with it to the end -- at which point the reader may wonder what the point of the story is (other than the somewhat trite revelation "Each nun to her own", reminiscent of the Fat Lady speech in "Zooey"). Nevertheless, "Daumier-Smith" is an amusing, charming story with a happily light-hearted ending -- almost a perfect short story, like "For Esme: With Love and Squalor."
"For Esme" is one of the finest short stories ever written about the effects of combat on a soldier. Sergeant X (Salinger in one of his many fictional disguises) suffers a nervous breakdown because of his wartime experiences, and while convalescing, finds solace for his shattered psyche in a letter from a young girl named Esme, whom he met before shipping out for D-Day. "For Esme" is Salinger at his best -- and I wish he would have included in this collection more of his war stories ("A Girl I Knew" and "A Boy in France" come to mind); in some ways, they are superior to his later fiction, which focuses almost exclusively on Zen mysticism. "Teddy" is one of these mystical Zen stories, with its famously-enigmatic ending: Who falls, or who pushes whom, into the swimming pool? It's a "cute" story, and Teddy is an insufferably likeable character; but when Salinger uses his characters to preach Zen principles, the stories bog down and the plot all but disappears. But mysticism is one of Salinger's signature themes, and without it, his stories might not be as popular as they are.
The other stories showcase the range of Salinger's narrative skills. "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut" and "Just Before the War with the Eskimos" are examples of his ability to advance a story almost solely through dialogue -- although it's unclear what the point of the stories are. "The Laughing Man" is a wildly creative fable-like story framed in the complicated "story-within-a-story" narrative technique; "Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes" is the story of a love triangle with an ironic twist and too many cigarettes, Chrissakes, and goddams; and "Down at the Dinghy" is a simple story of childhood innocence, memorable (to my mind) if only for the odd statement that appears at the end of the story: "Then she put a wild hand inside the seat of his trousers, startling the boy considerably, but almost immediately withdrew it and decorously tucked in his shirt for him." It's something almost any mother would do for her upset child -- tuck in a shirt and pat a bottom -- but not stick her hand inside his pants. Why the subtle, ambiguous suggestion of -- something else? Perhaps I'm reading more into the sentence than Salinger intended; but given Salinger's story-telling talent, I have to assume that the "suggestiveness" is intentional, to provoke a response -- or, in keeping with the koan-like nature of the stories, to stimulate thought or insight. But insight into what?
This, I think, is the crux of my ambivalence about NINE STORIES. Despite the narrative finesse of the stories, they seem to lack a certain depth, dimension, and -- except that most of the stories have to do, in some way, with children -- a unifying thematic significance. Nevertheless, over fifty years later it's still an amazing collection of uniquely original fiction, a fusion of eastern mysticism and the short story form. But the originality of the fiction is eclipsed by its strangeness and superficiality -- and it's this that prevents me from giving it the wholehearted recommendation it probably deserves. Or maybe I haven't yet had my "Daumier-Smith" moment and realized how great NINE STORIES really is.
37 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Extraordinary Short Fiction6 septembre 1999
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This book is essential if (a) you've ever read Salinger, and (b) if you love short fiction. These tales brought him to the top of my list of favorite short story writers. He is able to paint exquisite pictures of people with their words and mannerismns, often needing little else to move story's narrative. What I particularly enjoy is his occaisional touch of humorous irony that is sometimes reminiscant of John Collier (known more as a poet than short story writer, many of his stories turned up on ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS and some even on TWILIGHT ZONE). Salinger, for the most part, provides much stronger endings than are popular with today's slice-of-life short fiction. They are often surprising and always thought-provoking. I may be old fashioned, but I believe this is how short stories should be written--and it's how I try to write mine.