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10 thoughts on “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters / Seymour: An Introduction

  1. says:

    In retrospect it s a great shame The Carpenters missed their golden opportunity to release a single called Raise High the Roof Beam.

  2. says:

    It was with simultaneously satisfied and wistful closure that I shut this book I guess I ve now read all the Salinger in almost chronological order This book made me especially sad about that fact considering that I was very much aware of what was clearing away as I was vacuuming it up, yet I couldn t make myself sit with it and take it in as slowly as a long goodbye should warrant Seymour Glass would not approve Of course, it s likely that there are Salinger shorts out there that weren t published in any hyper official, bookbound sense during his lifetime, and so there is still to read, but my general understanding is if you were to evenly space Salinger s Official Publications out over the entirety of his adult timeline, he would release a book even less often than Terrence Malick directs a film Reading this really paraded the shamefulness of that fact, at least for me The really strange part of it all is, despite how absolutely self contained in their perfection most of Salinger s sentences are, they just seem so completely honest and effortless in their rendering Few people I ve come across are so masterful at smacking the book out of you, the reader s, hand and talking to you directly, staring directly, baring directly At no point does this man seem full of shit There s zero peacocking here This bird is just bashfully pretty despite itself.Maybe I m wrong, but I have come to the mostly uneducated assumption conclusion that Salinger is the root of the oft used character of the overly smart kid Now, normally this annoys the crap out of me, what with all the suit wearing pre teens in horror movies these days who call their very average parents by their first names and somehow contain rivers of life lessons that they haven t even remotely earned from experience, at least not within the world that has been sculpted by the screenwriter However, Salinger manages to present a fairly compelling, and certainly nuanced, argument for the Glass family as believable though admittedly fictional construct I won t explain away this point, because the building of the family members individual and communal complexities is one of the great delights to be taken from reading this body of work I ll just say that, in my opinion, it works It beyond just works.Though I suppose I preferred the first story to the second, one of my favorite points in the book, and an effective summary of Seymour as haunting shadow and posthumously shoulder seated voice of Zen for the members of this family, is the part about the marbles For those of you who haven t read this book, a young Buddy second born Glass child is playing marbles with a friend, and Seymour first born Glass child says to him from the background Could you try not aiming so much A fairly lengthy analysis of hyper self aware concentration versus the greeting of intuition and fancy flight ensues This state of mindless focus while also confidently casting oneself to the whims of fate is something that I m sure we can all relate to Some days, you rhythm just rhythms itself Some moments, you re there and away, you see what you need to do, and rather than fretfully over thinking whatever your immediate task may be, you find a place inside yourself, an immensely electric yet passing equilibrium, where you let yourself go and you go just right If you will forgive a personal aside, one of the times like this for me was you probably don t know that I was very briefly on a dart team, but I was where pretty much mediocre at darts me was tasked with throwing the winning move I won t detail the rules of Cricket here, but in short, it was absolutely crucial for me to hit two bullseyes in one turn consisting of three throws, or we would almost certainly lose Though I had been stressed out the whole game through competition makes me suck, even at things I m good at , for some reason maybe the booze, maybe resignation, maybe both I stepped up to the throw line and just told myself This will work Or fuck it Basically, I was so okay with losing at this point that I didn t carry the weight of that loss, and I just let go and visualized myself hitting the bullseye, while not spending my usual extensive amount of time and concentration attempting to aim I just let my arm do its thing, and let my mind rest I rapidly hit three bullseyes to the astonishment of my parents, my teammates, and especially the competing team We won It was one of my only end of the inspirational high school movie where everyone cheers for the awesome underdog moments in my life, and it was all due to this non concentrated, resigned state which Salinger manages to so perfectly enunciate here That s a very long way of me saying just a little of what Salinger can say in a paragraph or less Is his magic, you see.Since, no matter how much I d like to, I will never be able to read Seymour s nonexistent poems, I suppose all that s left for me to do is reread Catcher in the Rye, considering it had been 17 years Since I have absolutely adored all the Salinger I have read as an adult, my first, teenaged engagement with him than deserves a revisiting My boring 4 starring of Salinger s opus is less a one star striking criticism of a book I read almost two decades ago, and a less than trustful regard of 14 year old me by 30 year old me, because how could I possibly have loved something awesome back when I was such a dumbass We shall see how it goes, but my hopes are high I only wish there were mountains .

  3. says:

    When a panoramic awareness of the real face of the world first hits you, it s paralyzing If you manage to find your footing again, it s and bearably only a hard struggle though it gets worse before it gets better And if you find real, solid happiness in your life after all that, it s the beginning of your journey s end, and a Real Blessing a crown upon your life s work For Nature made supreme happiness our natural human goal.This little review is only about Seymour, and not the other bright Glass kidsSeymour is trapped right the outset of that first phase Like Dante was, in a Dark Wood.For him, panoramic awareness is a curse And that it in fact is until you can turn it into a blessing But the blessing is stillborn in Seymour, because he buries the curse.And the Curse which happened right at the very beginning of things is the lot of ALL of us whether we know it or not.Seymour chooses to run away from it Big mistakeFor once the ghost is seen, it will haunt him forever Until it has been blessed and laid to rest.And the way it haunts him is all in one word Depression.He says to a little kid playing nearby Try not to see so clearly Like he always disconnects his own heightened awareness.But real life is nothing if not a struggle, and that struggle begins with the strengthening of awareness Giving in to Depression, though, is wanting to curl up and die Even when God is calling our name It s like it was for Roquentin in Sartre s Nausea resistance is futile, the mediocre Shadows say to him on that murky side of life Or like the inscription says over Dante s Hell Give up hope if you come here The Shadows lie Hope is the only key to the lock, so use it before night falls and keep on hoping ever afterwards As St Paul says, we are saved by Hope.Which is not to say Seymour will not be saved, for hope springs Eternal in the reader who has faith to see such things.But in the meantimeLife hurts A lot.Poor, poor Seymour.If Seymour had a chance to have that hurt assuaged by Love, perhaps he could keep up the struggle.But then none of us knows What Dreams May Come.Though that ignorance is itself partially a Blessing.

  4. says:

    This is too grand to be said so I m just the man to say it , but I can t be my brother s brother for nothing, and I know not always, but I know there is no single thing I do that is important than going into that awful Room 307 There isn t one girl in there, including the Terrible Miss Zabel, who is not as much my sister as Boo Boo or Franny They may shine with the misinformation of the ages, but they shine This thought manages to stun me There s no place I d really rather got right now than into Room 307 Seymour once said that all we do our whole lives is go from one little piece of Holy Ground to the next Is he never wrong Just go to bed, now Quickly Quickly and slowly Yesterday I went to the public library after work to read I sometimes like to read there because it is a way to be around other people and not be around other people When I m too socially anxious but too sad to just give up and be alone this is a good and helpful thing for me to do I wrote about this in another review but I can t remember if it was one I ended up posting to goodreads It is my life anyway Open the pages and hope this time I ll fit Anyway, I read Salinger s Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters Seymour An Introduction that I hadn t read since I was a teenager the first time I was probably locked in my room while listening to The Cure That hadn t been the plan I m currently reading than a few other books Maybe my mind was doing something good for me because I think it helped Did anyone else ever get a sad out of place feeling from the Glass family From The Catcher in the Rye, also Now I don t care at all about the wedding party and their totally self unaware presumptions on the brother of the bridegroom they announce as a despicable human being I am not worried that I would be as they are I guess my library trick isn t too far away from Buddy s leaping into a car full of strangers headed to some place he doesn t belong the apartment of his sister in law s parents because he is lonely I m not worried about that, though It s like when I vow to stop talking this time absolutely for good and when I forget how wretched I feel for talking I start talking again kind of impermanent damage Those kinds of awkward experiences can be forgotten about if you go to the movies or manage to take a nap It feels like a different day Buddy will not be stuck in that car forever The stage play of the wedding after party will change into another memory I wouldn t worry about not being good enough for them, now Muriel learned, to her fiance Seymour s dismay, to disuse her natural vocabulary of cute I feel closer to her estrangement when her husband cannot speak in her language, or rather she cannot trust that he does or doesn t hear her when she doesn t know what she wants But I wasn t worried about that either Muriel is a stranger to me and I m not worried I m not worried about tanned faces and asking for your husband s mail in a vacation hotel and is that all there is to life, and if that s all they want out of life is that all there is going to be of my life I m not that bothered about it, any Seymour knows his brother Buddy enough to know that he would despise of Muriel s reason to live This is closer but also not it You can t sleep away this disconnection My anxiety and sadness about the Glass family is that there will never be another Seymour, Buddy, Boo Boo, Franny and Zooey Buddy has Seymour always He doesn t have Seymour any longer Seymour killed himself It was in another story Seymour the genius and Seymour the best of them all Seymour is the Glass sky ceiling Seymour is the O zone layer protection I think about them like going into the world and you will never meet anyone you love as much The last line in Seymour An Introduction that I quote in the beginning of this review made me feel a lot better I had forgotten all about that If he meant it I think he did Will he continue to mean it What if you don t have that family and you can never have that family because everyone else already has a Seymour, Buddy, Boo Boo, Franny and Zooey This is what I had remembered about this book Seymour the poet Of all that stayed in my mind fingertips it was Seymour writing his haiku poems I thought some times about how the Japanese masters didn t need to use italics I remember thinking some low self esteem thing that I d never be able to communicate without the visual stress I wondered how it would feel to be happy when writing as Buddy was I remember Buddy with his shield of defense against those who would argue against their authenticity, those haiku poems of Seymour s that were all double haikus Since reading Nabokov s Speak, Memory I m thinking a lot about his idea that it is all positional The arms of consciousness reach out and grope, and the longer they are the better Tentacles, not wings, are Apollo s natural members Buddy writes that we only have three or four truly indispensable poets He doesn t say which they are so no one could argue that he left so and so off Four Only four I remembered how he wanted to tell the wedding party in Raise high that his brother could never have written a word and he would meet you with himself as the poetry That s the positional He is positioned in his family It was a place anywhere else that wasn t helped I envy Buddy for his ceiling of Seymour but it also makes me sad Was he going to reach for anything else or would it always be the first family corner I m relieved that it isn t the sadness that I was afraid of having of not being good enough Whatever he says about only four He is a man missing his brother and he wishes that he was a man who came at you as himself as poetry How could I have forgotten the nine stitches One of the women I don t have the book with me and I have already forgotten her name mentions that Seymour she overhears Muriel s mother saying this that Seymour hit Muriel and she had to get nine stitches When they were on their child genius radio show they were on the child genius radio show with another little girl, chosen by Seymour himself, who was not to Buddy s mind all that brilliant but a fine singer Seymour threw a rock at Charlotte Mayhew the fine singer who was good looking She had to have nine stitches He threw himself in the rock, is my feeling, helpless to another reaction for what he was feeling I imagine the foot stamping delight in being on the show together, to be on for her, ended with the rock.Another thing I don t care about that I imagine I probably did when I was younger was that radio program genius thing Something about people being smarter than they should be at an age when I didn t feel up to the task of where I already was Now I don t care about Franny feeling like she could fly I used to jump off the tops of dressers when I was a little girl, flapping my arms in flight No light bulb dust on my fingers I flew when I kept believing that I could It was a lonely feeling when Boo Boo longs to see Franny when she hears her on the radio Someone was moved by her dreams What was it like to have someone care about your dreams that way That s a foreign feeling It s kind of sad and I wish I had a rock Seymour left a poem before he dies about a man on a plane and across the aisle is a little girl This little girl has a friend who is a doll The girl turns her friend s face to look at the man.I have this fear of not being seen, of having no response It is an unsettling image this girl with her doll who stares It would be bad enough to be looked at by the girl, or just the doll The girl pointing the doll to look is upsetting I hope that never happens to me in a wrong kind of a mood I would have to do something to make me feel like it had never happened or it would bother my mind too much I can see that upsetting someone like Seymour to have to write about it, if it happened or not Buddy thinks it didn t and Boo Boo believes it did The writing about it is making it happen and if that s the response I wouldn t want to be Buddy even when he is helplessly happy in a sitting room with his fiance and her mother There s something about both Buddy and Seymour that unsettled me It s the precocious aspect that is rooted in someone very young with a promise of something that is going to happen In For Esme, with Love and Squalor collection they both make friends with these girls I always wondered what would happen if the pleasure wasn t in the surprise of hearing what you didn t expect to hear out of someone you didn t expect to hear it from Seymour could be kinder, such as finding Muriel s mother brave to live in her small world without imagination, and he doesn t even mean it condescendingly to pity her I wonder what would have happened to them if they didn t have a ceiling to meet up against No expectation of company to expect to hear from I hope Buddy meant it that he wanted to see those girls in his class room and find someone else to hear from that wasn t his family It would be sad to live life like someone who stopped enjoying music past the age of seventeen Nothing ever sounded good again, and they keep playing the same hits and each time the newness gets less Oh yeah, I felt better because I hoped that holy ground could be found again in new experiences That you don t have to feel sad like you can t be like family with all new people because you aren t new any I ll try to remember Seymour coming at people as a poem and those nine stitches this time because I feel helpless for the right reaction and the right words when I see something that makes me feel small Why do I feel small I guess I ll probably think about Muriel and Seymour together because there s a small feeling between them too I m a little creeped out that they would need each other s grace that way It wasn t that way within the Glass family At least not in the untouchable past, where they would never stop loving each other.I looked at other reviews of this book a minute ago I guess other people on goodreads didn t think about Seymour s poetry as much as I did I wonder if that means that others didn t feel like throwing rocks at beauty too I always felt ugly If it was a game of rock, paper, scissors I d be missing the paper and my pen would have been less mighty than my knife I wonder if Seymour would have felt differently if he had had a Seymour like Buddy had him Someone to look up to, maybe, so you could feel like at least someone knew what to say.

  5. says:

    when i find myself in times of troublei read another book by j.d salinger

  6. says:

    There were times when I was reading this book that I wondered whether or not I should reconsider Salinger as my favorite author I mean, these stories are all over the place but then I realized why I love him so much Salinger does not write skim worthy sentences I really feel like the depth of his writing cannot be grasped if a person is not reading them with the utmost concentration His short stories Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and others I have read seem, or less, useless In terms of a specific story, they are But it s what a person gains from them, the thoughts that are provoked, that is crucial Additionally, Seymour, an Introduction, was basically Salinger rambling on aimlessly about his brother But it really made me consider the depth of his love, the tragedy of his death, the words and thoughts that Buddy Glass used years after the death it was provoking and I found that I dog eared a number of corners because a specific sentence or paragraph really called to me I greatly admire Salinger s writing and am glad I completed this book.

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  8. says:

    Anyone who read my review of Salinger s Nine Stories knows I love this man s work to death I ve read and enjoyed Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey a whole hell of a lot too I picked this up with a heart filled with admiration and optimism Well that optimism was dashed upon the rocks of Salinger s self indulgence and apparent disregard for his readers.This book compiles two short stories first published in the New Yorker and are the final two entries in Salinger s Glass family saga Raise High the Roofbeams, Carpenters focuses on Buddy Glass and his trip to his brother Seymour s wedding Seymour an Introduction again finds Buddy downstage center and is his way of coming to terms with his brother s memory through literature Like Franny and Zooey we are served up first a good story followed by a not so good story However where Zooey was rambling and a tad unfocused it was at least a short story Seymour on the other hand is a goddamned mess It reads like the notes an author would take down before actually starting the job of composition For every sentence of quality and clarity there seem to be pages upon pages of self indulgent masturbation This makes for an interminable and ultimately frustrating read It s starts off promisingly though Raise High the Roofbeams is a delight It is a comically poignant trip into the past Buddy Glass getting over a bout of pleurisy in the camp hospital must get to New York and be the only family member at his brother Seymour s wedding What follows is typical Seymour not to mention Salinger As usual the characters are so well observed and vividly presented we can practically smell them There is the usual masterful blending of the serious and the comic Salinger doesn t so much write a story as create a world that he allows us to visit for a spell The greatest reward of course is getting to spend a few moments with a member of the Glass family In reading over all of Salinger s writing in the last few months I ve become almost as obsessed with reading about them as Salinger is writing about them That s why I thought despite warnings that I could indeed read and enjoy Seymour However it s total disregard for it s readers enjoyment almost dispelled the warm glow I felt after reading Raise High the Roofbeams So unless you have absolutely nothing better to read or do and you are a completist avoid Seymour like grim death.

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Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters / Seymour: An Introduction download Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters / Seymour: An Introduction, read online Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters / Seymour: An Introduction, kindle ebook Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters / Seymour: An Introduction, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters / Seymour: An Introduction 303d25b92989 The Author Writes The Two Long Pieces In This Book Originally Came Out In The New Yorker RAISE HIGH THE ROOF BEAM, CARPENTERS In , SEYMOUR An Introduction InWhatever Their Differences In Mood Or Effect, They Are Both Very Much Concerned With Seymour Glass, Who Is The Main Character In My Still Uncompleted Series About The Glass Family It Struck Me That They Had Better Be Collected Together, If Not Deliberately Paired Off, In Something Of A Hurry, If I Mean Them To Avoid Unduly Or Undesirably Close Contact With New Material In The Series There Is Only My Word For It, Granted, But I Have Several New Glass Stories Coming Along Waxing, Dilating Each In Its Own Way, But I Suspect The Less Said About Them, In Mixed Company, The Better Oddly, The Joys And Satisfactions Of Working On The Glass Family Peculiarly Increase And Deepen For Me With The Years I Can T Say Why, Though Not, At Least, Outside The Casino Proper Of My Fiction