The Catcher In The Rye

Richard Prince


Book, 20.7 x 14.3 cm, 214 p., language : English, publisher : American Place, ISBN : N/A.
Materials: ink, paper

Literary synopsis

The Catcher in the Rye, recounts the days following a student's expulsion from a private school. After a fight with his roommate, he leaves school two days early to explore 1950s New York before returning home, interacting with teachers, prostitutes, nuns, an old girlfriend, and his sister.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

This work, one of Prince's most risky appropriations, is a dead-ringer for the iconic novel of the same title, by J.D. Salinger. Not a word in the entire novel was changed, with the exception that the following disclaimer was added to the colophon page: “This is an artwork by Richard Prince. Any similarity to a book is coincidental and not intended by the artist.” And, as a cherry on the top, © Richard Prince.

Prince took a bunch of copies of his pirated edition, spread them out on a blanket on sidewalk in front of Central Park, and sold them for $40 each. It's unknown how many—if any—he sold or how a presumably befuddled public might have responded to this performance.

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