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Reconsidering the concept of therapeutic landscapes in J. D. Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye'.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
  • Leonard D. Baer
  • Wilbert M. Gesler
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2004
<mark>Journal</mark>Area
Issue number4
Volume36
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)404-413
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Researchers usually examine therapeutic landscapes, spaces that have or are felt to have healing properties, in positive terms. We reconsider the therapeutic landscape notion by applying it to J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. The main character, Holden Caulfield, is sickened by his transition between childhood and adulthood, and he relies on therapeutic landscapes as an imaginary escape. Yet his therapeutic landscapes are oversimplified and unrealistic. Through examples from Holden's experiences, we explore therapeutic landscapes as ambivalent, nuanced spaces. We argue that therapeutic landscapes should be considered beyond exceptional cases, in everyday experience.