The Web Surfer’s Guide to Obscure Salinger

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Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 28 2010 4:11 PM

The Web Surfer’s Guide to Obscure Salinger

J.D. Salinger left behind one novel and about 40 short stories. Only 13 of the stories were ever anthologized nine in Nine Stories and four novella-length stories in Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction . Before the advent of the Internet, combing through microfiche or university stacks for the remaining 20-some stories was the final initiation into Salinger fandom. (You could also make the pilgrimage to Princeton's Firestone Library to view their closely guarded J.D. Salinger archive .)

Now it's possible to find all the stories on a Hungarian site called FreeWeb , where someone has retyped nearly everything Salinger ever published . The following are some highlights from that list, with brief annotations.

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" The Young Folks "
Story , March-April 1940
Salinger's first widely published story.

" The Hang of It "
Collier's , July 12, 1941
A classic bait-and-switch, revealed in the last sentence.

" The Heart of a Broken Story "
Esquire , September 1941
A story about an aborted story intended for Collier's .

" The Long Debut of Lois Taggett "
Story , September/October 1942
A young woman flounders in American upper-crust society, the world Salinger's characters would frequently brush up against in later works.

" Once a Week Won't Kill You "
Story , November/December 1944
A man prepares to ship off to war despite the vapid protests of his wife. Many of Salinger's stories in the ''40s featured soldiers and veterans.

" I'm Crazy "
Collier's , Dec. 22, 1945
An early experiment with the Holden Caulfield character, in which he visits a favorite instructor a scene that makes its way into the first chapter of Catcher in the Rye .

" Slight Rebellion Off Madison "
The New Yorker , December 1946
A second appearance of Holden "Morrisey" Caulfield in a short story, this time as he returns to New York City.

" Hapworth 16, 1924 "
The New Yorker , June 19, 1965
Salinger's last published story, two years after his fourth and last book was printed. Like most of his anthologized stories, this long epistolary story concerns the Glass family.

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Chris Wilson is a Slate contributor.

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