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In chapter 13 of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden refers to a fictional character in a...
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- I have the wrong story in mind,
- Holden is confusing this story with a different one he read,
- Holden is confusing the story of Monsieur Blanchard with another character in another section of the anthology (I haven't read them all, so I can't tell.)
This is really a harder question than I first thought it was going to be, and to be honest, I can only give it my best guess.
The most likely answer is that the character comes from a story by H. Ashton-Wolfe and was anthologized in a book called "Warped in the Making: Crimes of Love and Hate." This was back in 1927, so it was indeed available at the time of Catcher in the Rye.
It's not a slam dunk, though. The character of Monsieur Blanchard (who did, indeed, live in Monte Carlo as Holden mentions) appears almost entirely in the included story titled: "Orinsi, the Croupier." I have read this story, and for the life of me I don't see any mention of women being compared to a violin. In fact, I don't see a lot to suggest that Blanchard was the lady's man Holden things. Blanchard is more like a security guard (I think story refers to him as a "surete") for the the casino, a dapper man who spots cheats and frauds.
Three things might account for this:
Any of these seems plausible, but I don't think I have the wrong story. I think it is likely Holden that is confusing characters. I am putting a link below that will lead you to the original, public domain version of the book if you'd like to check for yourself.
Posted by ophelious on August 30, 2012 at 5:11 PM (Answer #1)
Thank you. That makes it easier for me to accept that I couldn't answer the question myself :-)
Posted by annek54 on September 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM (Answer #2)
Best answer as selected by question asker.
I am curious, though, if that's the right answer. Holden was a clever guy but his schooling was sporadic. It's possible he's confusing things. The weird part is that Salinger would write it that way, with his character recalling a particular story (that character does come from the Monte Carlo story) and then having him remember it wrong (considering most readers wouldn't know the difference.) Very clever.
Posted by ophelious on September 2, 2012 at 2:01 PM (Answer #3)
As a non-native speaker I guess I miss those nuances. For all I know Holden remembers it right. That's why Google comes in handy. I guess I get about ninety percent of the story.
I reread the book and it hasn't lost anything in the last twenty years. Holden's innocence still moves me. Thanks for your answers. I’ll start in As I lay dying now.
As a non-native speaker I guess I miss those nuances. For all I know the book does exist. I guess I get about ninety percent of the story. I reread the book and it hasn't lost anything in the last twenty years. Holden's innocence still moves me. Thanks for your answers. I’ll start in As I lay dying now.
Posted by annek54 on September 4, 2012 at 1:52 PM (Answer #4)
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