Franny by J.D. Salinger

An Aged Quill Recording:

Franny by J.D. Salinger is now available for streaming.

An excerpt from Franny, a short story by J.D. Salinger. Narrated by Joseph Voelbel. Franny was originally published in the New Yorker, (1955). This excerpt was selected because of it’s spiritual-philosophical bent, a particular viewpoint expressed by the youngest of the Glass family, Franny Glass…

Although ‘Zooey’ is my preferred short between the two, which was also published in The New Yorker a few years after (1957), Franny’s obsession with learning how to pray ceaselessly stands out as a singular and brilliant portrayal of the author’s search for God in the idiosyncratic upper crust east coast overly educated critics that are his Glass family. Franny’s dry opaqueness, listless attitude, and fainting all serve as symbolism for the disenchanted view the author takes of the “things worth doing” in life, that is such pursuits as fame, prestige, honor, accolades, etc.

Of particular note, before the end of this excerpt when Franny really gets revved up, is her terse analysis of how people that put words on paper – that are called poems and end up in anthologies – are not inherently poets. A fanstastic premise for the enquiry into what truly is an artist, or a poet, etc. Franny & Zooey which was published as a joint book in 1961, has this particularly charming dedication,

“As nearly as possible in the spirit of Matthew Salinger, age one, urging a cool lima bean, I urge my editor, mentor, and (heaven help him) closest friend, William Shawn, genius domus of The New Yorker, lover of the long shot, protector of the unprolific, defender of the hopelessly flamboyant, most unreasonably modest of born great artist-editors, to accept this pretty skimpy-looking book.”

J.D. Salinger (Franny & Zooey)

This excerpt, which by its definition does not contain the entirety of the story, includes critical analysis (observed in this description), and is for Educational Purposes only.

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