Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lunchtime read: For Esme - with Love and Squalor and other stories

As you read more Salinger and start to appreciate the role that the family plays in his stoties and even when you don't think that it is going to be about one the Seymour and Buddy clan it turns out to fill another part of the jigsaw about the family history - this time about Walt who died in the war.

Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut

* Two old college friends meet up on a cold snowy day and share some memories and plenty of alcholol and start to talk about the old times and some of the people they went to college with

* But the married woman who lives in the house starts to turn bitter in her recollections, particularly after her daughter comes home with her imaginary friend, and reveals that she adored a soilder who was killed in the war

* She tells her friend that she has never been able to tell her husband about the relationship, which she valued for the humour (the title comes from something Walt said) and he would be even more jealous of a ghost

* The friend asks for details of his death and is told a camping stove blew up and killed him and then the drink and futility of the loss overcome her and she is angry with her daughter and then in tears asks her friend if she was good - obviously wondering why something so bad happened to her

More from the collection tomorrow...

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