chapter  XX
Fit Audience
ByJ. D. Salinger
Pages 5

Salinger is certainly a 'highbrow' novelist, it would be unreal to speak of his audience. Although books have been read by very large number of people, one may reasonably distinguish between a smaller, 'true' audience and bigger audiences which read them quite differently, and were formerly a fortuitous addition to the 'highbrow' public. Structural virtuosity is now taken for granted, particularly in American novels. This one is designed for readers who can see a wood, and paths in a wood, as well as sturdy, primitive trees a large, roughly calculable audience: fit audience though many. Repetitive, indecent, often very funny, it is wonderfully sustained by the author, who achieves all those ancient effects to be got from a hero who is in some ways inferior, and in others superior, to the reader. Mr. J. D. Salinger is not like other writers. Since few men will write for nobody, this fine artist writes for the sharp-common reader.