Young David had a baby mentality because he was a member of America's Bubble Class raised to believe he was the center of the universe, but had no way to convey his special wonderfulness-- his retreat into childhood-- other than thumbsucking (picked up from Walter Kirn) until one day David saw a short story title: "A Perfect Day for Bananafish."
Oh golly gosh giggle it was great! That one phrase encapsulated every feckless feeling bouncing around in David's vacuous head. David plunged eagerly into tales about the precocious sensitive hyper-intelligent Glass family, with which he identified in totality. He saw his makeshift family of his brother Snooky, his old friend Teddy, and himself in the same light. They represented for him the rejection of the cruel adult outside world into the swamps of solipsism. Everything and everyone was bananas. Or, he was.
Eternal innocence! Our hero had found his profession-- writer-- and he'd found his philosophy, or, anyway, at least his pose.
(To be continued.)
The McSweeney's Saga-- every Friday on this blog!