The first novel (1951) by J. D. Salinger (b.1919), about a mixed-up teenager called Holden Caulfield. The character first appeared in a story published in the New Yorker in 1946, in which year Salinger withdrew an earlier version of the book. The title of this Campus classic is alluded to in ch xxii, when Holden's younger sister goads him into naming 'something you'd like to be'. It transpires that he has misread the line in the song by Robert Burns (1759-96), 'Gin a body meet a body/Comin thro' the rye', as 'catch a body':
'I keep picturing all these little kids playing some
game in this big field of rye. ... And I'm standing on
the edge of some crazy cliff. ... I have to catch
everybody if they start to go over the cliff. ... I'd just
be the catcher in the rye. I know it's crazy.'
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