Which is why it hasn't really bothered me that I haven't gotten any comments - positive OR negative - on the College Fashion post for J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey that went up yesterday.
The story follows the titular pair of Franny, an ambitious and impressionable college student, and Zooey, her brilliant and hardened older brother. After a mental breakdown compounded with a religious obsession renders Franny sick, and others sick with worry for her, Zooey attempts to strike some sense into his sister with only the kind of brotherly compassion and commiseration that he can bestow.
It's a short novel, actually a compound of the short story "Franny" and novella Zooey, which both originally ran in the New Yorker in the '50s, only to be released in a novel form of their own in 1961. And I think this kind of brevity really suited the strengths of the stories themselves: they didn't put much stock in events or settings, with the main scenes playing out briefly in a train station, a restaurant, and an apartment. The major action was that of the subtle dynamics in the relationship between the protective older brother and his damaged younger sister, and I think that was something really special about the novel.
However, I don't have much more to say about it other than it was written in Salinger's detail-oriented and kind of glib style. The entire ordeal was written with a really tender hand, choosing to emphasize aspects of character development that wouldn't necessarily get much spotlight, like an involved effort to demonstrate intonation (seriously, check out the italics used in here) and emotional output (lots of angst), alongside the same crusade against inauthenticity and selfishness that was championed by Zooey's brother-in-literature, Holden Caulfield.
But I didn't like it. It was interesting, but it was short, and it regurgitated ideology I already found insanely irritating when we were still stuck inside Holden Caulfield's head. But I needed a source of inspiration for College Fashion, and since Seventeen Magazine had thrown it a reference in their back-to-school issue, I figured there was a chance that it might resonate in some fashion (haha, get it) with CF's readers, but alas. It's been exactly a year since my second post on CF, which was about Catcher in the Rye, so at least there's a nice kind of symmetry about all of it.
Even if the book wasn't exactly my fave, that doesn't mean there weren't some cool outfits that came out of it. Here's my favorite look from the article, based on Franny:
To find out more, just follow the link to my most recent College Fashion article.
Let me know what you think!