A long letter home from Camp Simon Hapworth by a young, precocious Seymour Glass. This is the story that will be made into a book at some time. It is the only Glass story not yet available in book form. It is very reminiscent of Seymour: An Introduction.
I will write for us both, I believe, as Buddy is engaged elsewhere for an indefinite period of time. Surely sixty to eighty per cent of the time, to my eternal amusement and sorrow, that magnificent, elusive, comical lad is engaged elsewhere! As you must know in your hearts and bowels, we miss you all like sheer hell. Unfortunately, I am far from above hoping the case is vice versa.
Originally to be titled Scratchy Needle on a Phonograph Record. A Jazz story fitted into World War II by way of a flashback. It mentions the Varioni Brothers in passing.
Lida Louise passed over it. She was looking at Peggy. “You and him sweeties?” she asked her.
Rudford said quickly, “No.”
“Yes,” said Peggy.
“Why you like this little ole boy like you do?” Lida Louise asked Peggy.
“I don’t know,” Peggy said. “I like the way he stands at the blackboard.”
Originally to be titled Wien, Wien. This wonderful story seems rather autobiographical. The narrator flunks out of college and is sent to Vienna to study German and doesn’t get, and doesn’t want to get, the girl. At the end the story suddenly shifts gears and zooms into the future, which doesn’t work too well with the rest of the piece.
Probably for every man there is at least one city that sooner or later turns into a girl. How well or how badly the man actually knew the girl doesn’t necessarily affect the transformation. She was there, and she was the whole city, and that was that.
The un-translated line (“Sie sind sehr schön. Weissen Sie dass?”) translates to “You are very pretty. You know that?”
Considered by some to be one of Salinger’s best stories, this one deserves reading. It was probably just too old and non-Glass-or-Caulfield-related to make it into a book.
Ford arrived nearly an hour late, and his shyness lasted almost to the dessert course. Then all of a sudden his guest-of honor behavior turned gently perfect.