from the Korean Army to being published

the blog of an "ex-patriot" writer in Korea

Entry #13: The Catcher in the Rice

with 2 comments

I haven’t done any editing since Saturday, which isn’t a long time but feels like an eternity since I try to put in a good six hours of sit-down time with my computer every day. This inactivity is actually my natural state, and it’s good that I feel unease when not writing; my laziness is losing ground to my desire to get published.

I spent the entirety of yesterday and the majority of today moving back into my old building, subsidized housing for foreign researchers, professors, and grad students. Thoreau said, “The man who goes alone can start today,” but there are some things that take an absurdly long time alone.

I originally wanted to segue into my favorite quote from The Catcher in the Rye with a lie, but then I realized that there really isn’t any need to do so. This is just a blog, after all. A place for disjointed, random thoughts.

I wanted to share the quote because it popped into my head over the weekend. I can’t remember why.

What really knocks me out is a book, when you’re all done reading it, you wished the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. —Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye

That’s the kind of writer I want to be. I was grading the essays of JPO candidates for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) a couple weeks ago, and out of the 30 papers, there were one or two which were outstanding. I didn’t want to meet them, but I wondered who they were. For me, that is something.

While doing some research on Wikipedia—the majority of my graduate research originated there—I found a quote that I liked, so I’ll end the post with this.

The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. —Original book jacket copy, possibly partially written by Salinger

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Written by Young

June 15, 2010 at 12:09 am

2 Responses

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  1. Just though I’d drop you a message. I read about two pages of your blog. I find it interesting and have never really been into reading blogs… So that might count for something if I stayed here for that long. From what I’v read your korean/american american/korean. LOL I’m in the us army and while I was in korea I did meet on “katusa” that was from the US and had dual citizen ship. I was in korea when they deployed 2ID dongachong/TDC to down size the US troops. By the way best time in my life was in Itaewon.

    -From someone who enjoyed your blog.

    jessie

    June 15, 2010 at 4:33 am

    • Jessie,

      Thanks for the message. As someone who used to never read blogs but now creeps on other people’s blogs without commenting as a distraction from writing, I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.

      I’m curious about the dual citizen you met while in Korea. If you could tell me more or pass on his e-mail, please let me know. holdenbeck@gmail.com

      And I know I didn’t explain why I don’t like Itaewon. A lot of it is personal (e.g., it’s far from where I live and my friends always want to meet up there) and I can admit that a lot of good stories originate there (e.g., getting hit on by a cougar at my age).

      Anyway, thanks again.

      Young

      holdenbeck

      June 15, 2010 at 10:48 am


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