New York City

Some crib notes for The Catcher in the Rye:

Killing time before his date with Sally, Holden decides to walk from Central Park to the Museum of Natural History. Along the way, he remembers in detail his school trips to the museum. Holden has already demonstrated that he fears and does not know how to deal with conflict, confusion, and change. The museum presents him with a vision of life he can understand: it is frozen, silent, and always the same. Holden can think about and judge the Eskimo in the display case, but the Eskimo will never judge him back. It troubles him that he has changed each time he returns, while the museum’s displays remain completely the same. They represent the simple, idealistic, manageable vision of life that Holden wishes he could live.

I think this is what I like about Mondrian’s paintings, and Rothko’s also: whatever happens, they are secure and static point of reference. I have visited NYC for real only once, but I am more familiar with its architecture and cityscape and myth than with any other city in the world, because of movies and art and lit, and through watching repeats of Friends and Taxi.

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