Reading Carson McCullers

It’s early days yet. I had to put this down before I lose the thread. I just started reading the Carson McCullers novel The Member of the Wedding.  It’s like J.D Salinger (specifically The Catcher in the Rye) meets Haruki Murakami (specifically Norwegian Wood) and you’d want to be there when that happens.

What reminds me of Murakami is the inaction bit. There is no Murakamiesque surrealism though. The protagonist Frankie does almost nothing. She moves between confined spaces and the largest space (and also where the most action takes place) is in her head. Salinger’s legacy I could glimpse from the preoccupation with the adolescent world and the movement of the individual from the closed world of childhood to the open world of adulthood. Even though the focus reminds me of Salinger, the treatment is pure McCullers. Where it differs from Salinger is in the expanse of the focus. McCullers has a narrower focus but the description, the intricate and delicate description keep our attention riveted to this narrow focus. Salinger’s spreads his focus wider but we don’t miss that at all here. And therein lies the talent of Carson McCullers.

(This is how I got this book and also a bit of the history I have with it. Now, you will know why there is a percentage sticker defacing the front cover of the book.)

Carson McCullers


4 thoughts on “Reading Carson McCullers

  1. I think its the other way around, McCullers precedes Salinger as a writer and I believe influenced him in terms of tone, diction and attention to detail

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