Frank Portman
Contributed by Boredom, Posted by

The recent death of author J.D. Salinger put increased attention on author Frank Portman, better known around here as Dr. Frank of The Mr. T Experience, due to the content of Portman's 2006 novel King Dork. In Portman's book the narrator hates "The Catcher in the Rye" and what he describes as the novel's "Catcher Cult" of admirers. In a new editorial for the Huffington Post Portman explains his character's position and his motivation in writing it:

Holden Caulfield, the icon, hovers over anything you write about teenagers whether your text specifically acknowledges it or not. My approach was to acknowledge the hell out of it and to play around with the well-established convention that everyone's angsty, smart-ass teen narrator try as hard as he can to be mistaken for him. But I'm not some kind of anti-Salinger activist. I was just trying to be funny, honest.

The truth is, though, that there really is a Catcher Cult, and I've always found its persistence remarkable and a little puzzling. It goes beyond a simple appreciation of the book's literary qualities, impressive though they may be. It is Holden himself, as a symbol, as a kind of fetish of adolescent authenticity, that seems to inspire such devotion. Desecrating this fetish can drive a certain sort of person wild with fury, which is kind of funny because it is, after all, supposed to be an icon of rebellion. Maybe it's my punk rock background or my Bay Area upbringing that make me think that the thing to do with a monument is to try to smash it up, even if it happens to be a monument to smashing up monuments

You can find the full article at the Huffington Post.