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Salinger, , Source: Salinger J. Nine Stories. Franny and Zooey. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters. Moscow: Progress Publishers, One night some twenty years ago, during a siege of mumps in our enormous family, my youngest sister, Franny, was moved, crib and all, into the ostensibly germ-free room I shared with my eldest brother, Seymour.
I was fifteen, Seymour was seventeen. I lay in a still, neutral position for a few minutes, listening to the racket, till I heard, or felt, Seymour stir in the bed next to mine. In those days, we kept a flashlight on the night table between us, for emergencies that, as far- as I remember, never arose. Seymour turned it on and got out of bed. I sat up in bed. They can hear. Is there any member of your family whom I could employ to look for horses in your stead?
But the superlative horse-one that raises no dust and leaves no tracks-is something evanescent and fleeting, elusive as thin air. The talents of my sons lie on a lower plane altogether; they can tell a good horse when they see one, but they cannot tell a superlative horse.
I have a friend, however, one Chiu-fang Kao, a hawker of fuel and vegetables, who in things appertaining to horses is nowise my inferior. Pray see him. Three months later, he returned with the news that he had found one. However, someone being sent to fetch it, the animal turned out to be a coal-black stallion!
Much displeased, the Duke sent for Po Lo. What on earth can he know about horses? There is no comparison between us. What Kao keeps in view is the spiritual mechanism. In making sure of the essential, he forgets the homely details; intent on the inward qualities, he loses sight of the external.
He sees what he wants to see, and not what he does not want to see. He looks at the things he ought to look at, and neglects those that need not be looked at.
So clever a judge of horses is Kao, that he has it in him to judge something better than horses. What directly follows is an account of a wedding day in It is, in my opinion, a self-contained account, with a beginning and an end, and a mortality, all its own. He committed suicide in , while he was on vacation in Florida with his wife The twins, Walt and Waker, had been split up a whole year earlier.
He was never a great letter writer, and very little personal information-almost none-reached us after his death. He was killed in an unspeakably absurd G. My eldest sister, Boo Boo, who comes, chronologically, between the twins and me, was an ensign in the Waves, stationed, off and on, at a naval base in Brooklyn. All that spring and summer, she occupied the small apartment in New York that my brother Seymour and I had all but technically given up after our induction.
The two youngest children in the family, Zooey male and Franny female , were with our parents in Los Angeles, where my father was hustling talent for a motion-picture studio. Zooey was thirteen, and Franny was eight. All seven of us, from Seymour through Franny, appeared on the show under pseudonyms. This is not the time at all to go into  the question of whether most, or all, "professional" children ought to be outlawed, pitied, or unsentimentally executed as disturbers of the peace.
He was stationed at a B base in California, where, I believe, he was an acting company clerk. I might add, not quite parenthetically, that he was by far the least prolific letter writer in the family.
On the morning of either May 22nd or 3rd no one in my family has ever dated a letter , a letter from my sister Boo Boo was placed on the foot of my cot in the post hospital at Fort Benning while my diaphragm was being strapped with adhesive tape a usual medical procedure with pleurisy patients, presumably guaranteed to prevent them from coughing themselves to pieces.
Admiral Behind-pincher has decided that he must fly to parts unknown for the war effort and has also decided to take his secretary with him if I behave myself. Seymour aside, it means Quonset huts in freezing air bases and boyish passes from our fighting men and those horrible paper things to get sick in on the plane.
The point is, Seymour is getting married-yes, married, so please pay attention. I may be gone for anywhere from six weeks to two months on this trip. I mean she hardly said two words the night I met her. She told me she just wishes Seymour would relate to more people. In the same breath, said she just loves him, though, etc. I mean it. Franny has the measles, for one thing.
Incidentally, did you hear her last week? She went on at beautiful length about how she used to fly all around the apartment when she was four and no one was home. The new announcer is worse than Grant-if possible, even worse than Sullivan in the old days.
He said she surely just dreamt that she was able to fly. The baby stood her ground like an angel. She said she knew she was able to fly because when she came down she always had dust on her fingers from touching the light bulbs. I long to see her. You, too. Some judge is marrying them. Please get there, Buddy. All my love and see you when I get back. BOO BOO A couple of days after the letter arrived, I was discharged from the hospital, in the custody, so to speak, of about three yards of adhesive tape around my ribs.
I was finally able to do it by laboriously ingratiating myself with my company commander, a bookish man by his own  confession, whose favorite author, as luck had it, happened to be my favorite author-L. Manning Vines. Or Hinds. Despite this spiritual bond between us, the most I could wangle out of him was a three-day pass, which would, at best, give me just enough time to travel by train to New York, see the wedding, bolt a dinner somewhere, and then return damply to Georgia.
All sit-up coaches on trains in were only nominally ventilated, as I remember, abounded with M. I spent the night coughing and reading a copy of Ace Comics that someone was kind enough to lend me. When the train pulled into New York-at ten after two on the afternoon of the wedding-I was coughed out, generally exhausted, perspiring, unpressed, and my adhesive tape was itching hellishly.
New York itself was indescribably hot. I had no time to go to my apartment first, so I left my luggage, which consisted of a rather oppressive-looking little canvas zipper bag, in one of those steel boxes at Penn Station. I was limp when I finally got into a cab. As soon as we arrived in that block, however, it was very simple. One just followed the crowd.
There was even a canvas canopy. A moment later, I entered an enormous old brownstone and was met by a very handsome, lavender-haired woman, who asked me whether I was a friend of the bride or the groom. I said the groom. I have a thirteen-year-old blackout in my mind with regard to the over-all physical details of the room. I closed my eyes and waited, a trifle guardedly, for the organist to quit the incidental music and plunge into "Lohengrin. And I remember that the woman at my right addressed me once again, in the same rather festive.
He has the face of a saint. I had a sustained, cowardly notion, the entire time I was in the room, that I was about to hemorrhage, or, at the very least, fracture a rib, despite the corset of adhesive tape I was wearing. At twenty minutes past four-or, to put it another, blunter way, an hour and twenty minutes past what seemed to be all reasonable hope-the unmarried bride, her head down, a parent stationed on either side of her, was helped out of the building and conducted, fragilely, down a long flight of stone steps to the sidewalk.
She was then deposited-almost hand over hand, it seemed-into the first of the sleek black hired cars that were waiting, double-parked, at the curb. It was an excessively graphic moment-a tabloid moment-and, as tabloid moments go, it had its full complement of eyewitnesses, for the wedding guests myself among them had already begun to pour out of the building, however decorously, in alert, not to say goggle-eyed, droves.
If there was any even faintly lenitive aspect to the spectacle,  the weather itself was responsible for it. The June sun was so hot and so glaring, of such multi-flashbulb-like mediacy, that the image of the bride, as she made her almost invalided way down the stone steps, tended to blur where blurring mattered most.
Once the bridal car was at least physically removed from the scene, the tension on the sidewalk-especially around the mouth of the canvas canopy, at the curb, where I, for one, was loitering-deteriorated into what, had the building been a church, and had it been a Sunday, might have been taken for fairly normal congregation-dispersing confusion.
If the reaction in my vicinity was any criterion, the offer was generally received as a kind of beau geste. And, after a somewhat mysterious and bottleneck-like delay during which I remained peculiarly riveted to the spot , the "immediate family" did indeed begin to make its exodus, as many as six or seven persons to a car, or as few as three or four.
The number, I gathered, depended upon the age, demeanor, and hip spread of the first occupants in possession. How I had been singled out to fill this post deserves some small speculation. Therefore, it seems logical that I was singled out for other, far less poetic reasons. The year was I was twenty-three, and newly drafted into the Army.
It strikes me that it was solely my age, uniform, and the unmistakably serviceable, olivedrab aura about me that had left no doubt concerning my eligibility to fill in as doorman. I remember loading people into cars without any degree of competence whatever. On the contrary, I went about it with a certain disingenuous, cadetlike semblance of single-mindedness, of adherence to duty.
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour Quotes
Salinger, , Source: Salinger J. Nine Stories. Franny and Zooey. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters. Moscow: Progress Publishers,
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction
An Introduction in Whatever their differences in mood or effect, they are both very much concerned with Seymour Glass, who is the main character in my still-uncompleted series about the Glass family. It struck me that they had better be collected together, if not deliberately paired off, in something of a hurry, if I mean them to avoid unduly or undesirably close contact with new material in the series. There is only my word for it, granted, but I have several new Glass stories coming along? Oddly, the joys and satisfactions of working on the Glass family peculiarly increase and deepen for me with the years. I cant say why, though.