Long back, I had stumbled upon a short story by J. D. Salinger on the internet. I have been planning to read The Catcher in the Rye for years. A short story, I feel, is a nice way of getting acquainted with an author’s writing style.

The story was titled A Girl I Knew. It unfolded pleasantly under the narrator’s matter-of-fact tone and subtle humor, until the girl was introduced; the writing took on shades of detached admiration and everything was fine and dandy when, suddenly:

She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.

The remarkable change of intensity would bewilder any reader. It’s like skimming through a pleasant, imaginary scene and everything gets tossed up into a mess. Few seconds pass before the mind is able to comprehend what went wrong, and then it revolts.

This is why good authors tend to be so overwhelming; they yank deep rooted emotions out of our minds and wrap them up neatly, in a perfect sentence.


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