Thursday, 5 February 2015

For Esme- With Love and Squalor (JD Salinger)

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If there is an author who is well versed in portrayal and exploration of unconditional love, then it is JD Salinger. In his short story 'For Esme - With Love and Squalor' it is a major theme. Being implied between the anonymous narrator and young Esme, unconditional love shows its healing power, especially during the aftermath of war. Not all those involved in conflict return 'with all their faculties intact'.

I'm not usually drawn to short stories, but after reading 'For Esme -With Love and Squalor' I think I may be a convert. I really like the way it condenses an important - and touching message within the space of a few pages. This is one of the difficulties with short story writing; authors often try to squeeze ideas and plot twists meant for the space of a novel into the space of a chapter. With Salinger however, this is different. He managed to capture the very essence of a story in a few words without revealing too much (or to little) about the characters involved.

If you've never adventured into the realms of short stories, I would thoroughly recommend Salinger as a good starting point. You never know, you might be converted!

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