Friday, February 12, 2010

Another Salinger catalogue

The Glass family’s living room:

The room was not impressively large, even by Manhattan apartment-house standards, but its accumulated furnishings might have lent a snug appearance to a banquet hall in Valhalla. There was a Steinway grand piano (invariably kept open), three radios (a 1927 Freshman, a 1932 Stromberg-Carlson, and a 1941 R.C.A.), a twenty-one-inch-screen television set, four table-model phonographs (including a 1920 Victrola, with its speaker still mounted intact, topside), cigarette and magazine tables galore, a regulation-size ping-pong table (mercifully collapsed and stored behind the piano), four comfortable chairs, eight uncomfortable chairs, a twelve-gallon tropical-fish tank (filled to capacity, in every sense of the word, and illuminated by two forty-watt bulbs), a love seat, the couch Franny was occupying, two empty bird cages, a cherrywood writing table, and an assortment of floor lamps, table lamps, and “bridge” lamps that sprang up all over the congested inscape like sumac. A cordon of waist-high bookcases lined three walls, their shelves cram-jammed and literally sagging with books — children’s books, textbooks, second-hand books, Book Club books, plus an even more heterogeneous overflow from less communal “annexes” of the apartment. (“Dracula” now stood next to “Elementary Pali,” “The Boy Allies at the Somme” stood next to “Bolts of Melody,” “The Scarab Murder Case” and “The Idiot” were together, “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase” lay on top of “Fear and Trembling.”)

J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey (1961)
[Bolts of Melody: New Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. Mabel Loomis Todd and Millicent Todd Bingham (1945). The Scarab Murder Case: a Philo Vance mystery by S.S. Van Dine (1929). Clair W. Hayes’s The Boy Allies on the Somme (1917) may be found at Google Books. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the pseudonymous Carolyn Keene, Søren Kierkegaard, and Bram Stoker are the other writers whose works appear in the parenthetical catalogue.]

A related post
A Salinger catalogue

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