For those like me who couldn't find any insightful analyses about this collection on the Internet: You're welcome. I have finally figured out what this is about (I think).
So the fancy book club met a couple weeks ago to discuss Nine Stories by JD Salinger. Much despair was had because of our varied and confused insights into Salinger's stories. Was Seymour a pedophile? What's up with the random last line in "Just Before the War with the Eskimos?" How should we interpret Nine Stories? And although I haven't answered most of these questions, I can at least answer the last. So for those of who don't know how to absorb the collection, here's a little solace:
All of these short stories are about the …show more content…
"The Laughing Man" - Yeesh. This story is a mind-squeeze if I ever saw one, but I think I've got it figured out. The premise is that a college-aged guy takes a bunch of young boys on little "field trips" - to the baseball diamond, for example (What are his motives? Where are these boys' parents and how do they feel? I don't know, but alas ...) During these outings, The Chief - as he's called - narrates a fable about The Laughing Man, a sort of creepy-roguish-Robin Hood character with a deformed face, a sense of adventure, and an Inspector Clouseau type-of-character after him. "The Laughing Man" may or may not be narrated by Buddy Glass, a member of Salinger's Glass family. The boys-only routine comes to a halt when The Chief's girlfriend, Mary Hudson, starts tagging along, presumably because of dentists' appointments she has in the city. With the entrance of