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No Looking Back

In last Sunday's Los Angeles Time Book Review, Mary McNamara proclaimed, “I outgrew Salinger,” noting that for years she had hung on J.D. Salinger's every printed word and, now, as an adult, she's revisited Franny and Zooey and discovered that she's absolutely over it.

I, too, was once a Salinger groupie. I haven't read the books since my youth, but if I did, I would likely agree with McNamara's sentiment. That doesn't mean Salinger's impact on me as a teenager isn't as valid as it ever was; I'm just not a teenager any more.

I'll bet if I were to revisit Hermann Hesse's works, they would have nowhere near the same effect on me as they did when I was in my very serious and angst-ridden early twenties. Who knows, maybe even Dostoevsky and Kafka wouldn't totally blow me away like they did then when I was in college. But I'm never going to find out. There are too many wondrous things that I haven't read and I want to be blown away in new ways. Life is just too short for repeats.
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