A Perfect Day for Bananafish Criticism

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In his controversial biography, In Search of J. D. Salinger, Ian Hamilton calls "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" "spare, teasingly mysterious, withheld" —surely a deliberate understatement in light of the great deal of ink the critical community has spilled over the story. In his essay "A Critical Perspective on the Works of J. D. Salinger" (collected in Harold Bloom's 2002 J. D. Salinger, part of the Bloom's BioCritiques series), Clifford Mills remarks that Salinger's stories may be read as "riddles without any obvious solutions" and points of departure for "thinking, questioning" and "meditating." Knowing the degree to which readers yearn for a solution to the story's mystery, Mills concedes that Seymour's suicide is "one of the central riddles of Salinger's later fiction." In his famous essay, "J. D. Salinger: 'Everybody's Favorite"' (also collected by Bloom), the renowned critic Alfred Kazin praises Salinger's having "done an honest and...

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This section contains 725 words
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Buy the A Perfect Day for Bananafish Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
A Perfect Day for Bananafish from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.