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Quotations from
The Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger, 1945


What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by.  I mean I've left schools and places I didn't even know I was leaving them.  I hate that.  I don't care if it's a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I'm leaving it.  If you don't, you feel even worse.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 1


I don't even know what I was running for - I guess I just felt like it.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 1


It was that kind of a crazy afternoon, terrifically cold, and no sun out or anything, and you felt like you were disappearing every time you crossed a road.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 1


People always think something's all true.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 2


People never notice anything.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 2


I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life.  It's awful.  If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera.  It's terrible.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 3


When I really worry about something, I don't just fool around.  I even have to go to the bathroom when I worry about something.  Only, I don't go.  I'm too worried to go.  I don't want to interrupt my worrying to go.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 6


All morons hate it when you call them a moron.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 6


In my mind, I'm probably the biggest sex maniac you ever saw.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 9


It's really too bad that so much crumby stuff is a lot of fun sometimes.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 9


Sex is something I really don't understand too hot.  You never know where the hell you are.  I keep making up these sex rules for myself, and then I break them right away.  Last year I made a rule that I was going to quit horsing around with girls that, deep down, gave me a pain in the ass.  I broke it, though, the same week I made it - the same night, as a matter of fact.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 9


I was half in love with her by the time we sat down.  That's the thing about girls.  Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are.  Girls.  Jesus Christ.  They can drive you crazy.  They really can.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 10


There isn't any night club in the world you can sit in for a long time unless you can at least buy some liquor and get drunk.  Or unless you're with some girl that really knocks you out.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 10


It's no fun to be yellow.  Maybe I'm not all yellow.  I don't know.  I think maybe I'm just partly yellow and partly the type that doesn't give much of a damn if they lose their gloves.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 13


I mean most girls are so dumb and all.  After you neck them for a while, you can really watch them losing their brains.  You take a girl when she really gets passionate, she just hasn't any brains.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 13


Goddam money.  It always ends up making you blue as hell.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 15


If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she's late?  Nobody.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 17


"Take most people, they're crazy about cars.  They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they're always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that's even newer.  I don't even like old cars.  I mean they don't even interest me.  I'd rather have a goddam horse.  A horse is at least human, for God's sake."  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 17, spoken by the character Holden Caulfield


Anyway, I'm sort of glad they've got the atomic bomb invented.  If there's ever another war, I'm going to sit right the hell on top of it.  I'll volunteer for it, I swear to God I will.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 18


Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up.  I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something.  Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery.  People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap.  Who wants flowers when you're dead?  Nobody.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 20


It's funny.  All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 21


Holden:  "You know that song, 'If a body catch a body comin' through the rye'?..."
Phoebe:  "It's 'If a body meet a body coming through the rye'!... It's a poem.  By Robert Burns."
~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 22


"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.  Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me.  And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That's all I do all day.  I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.  I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be."  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 22, spoken by the character Holden Caulfield


"I have a feeling that you're riding for some kind of a terrible, terrible fall.  But I don't honestly know what kind.... It may be the kind where, at the age of thirty, you sit in some bar hating everybody who comes in looking as if he might have played football in college.  Then again, you may pick up just enough education to hate people who say, 'It's a secret between he and I.'  Or you may end up in some business office, throwing paper clips at the nearest stenographer.  I just don't know."  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 24, spoken by the character Mr. Antolini


"This fall I think you're riding for - it's a special kind of fall, a horrible kind.  The man falling isn't permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom.  He just keeps falling and falling.  The whole arrangement's designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn't supply them with.  Or they thought their own environment couldn't supply them with.  So they gave up looking.  They gave it up before they ever really even got started."  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 24, spoken by the character Mr. Antolini


"Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior.  You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know.  Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now.  Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles.  You'll learn from them - if you want to.  Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you.  It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement.  And it isn't education.  It's history.  It's poetry."  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 24, spoken by the character Mr. Antolini


Don't ever tell anybody anything.  If you do, you start missing everybody.  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 26



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