Aside from his Nine Stories, JD Salinger published twenty-two stories in various magazines which remain uncollected. Several attempts have been made to compile these stories together but have met stiff resistance by the author. Spanning his literary career between the years 1940-1965, these stories display changes in both the author's style and message. While some are plainly of commercial quality, most are serious works containing an expansive gift of enlightenment and self-examination: that very-satisfying "Salinger moment".
"The Young Folks"
Story XVI (March/April 1940), pp.26-36.
"The Young Folks", was Salinger's first published story. It was published in Whit Burnett's Story magazine. Burnett was the teacher of short story writing at Columbia where Salinger took his course. Salinger himself was twenty one at the time of its publication. The story satirizes the selfish concerns of a pair of young adults at a party and the festering shallowness of their lives.
"Go See Eddie"
Kansas City Review VII (December 1940), pp.121-124.
"Go See Eddie" is a tense story about a brother and sister. The brother tries to force his sister to go see Eddie about a job. In the process, he reveals his knowledge of her affair with a married man.
"Go See Eddie" was initially submitted to Story magazine and then Esquire before being accepted by the Review. Forgotten for decades, this story was uncovered in 1963 by Salinger biographer Warren French.
Reprinted in Massachusetts: Fiction: Form & Experience, 1969.
"The Hang of It"
Collier's CVIII (July 12, 1941), pp.22,
A commercial tale of a soldier who just can't seem to get "The Hang of It". The positive ending to the story was fitting for the countries upcoming involvement in World War II and popular with the magazines of the time.
Reprinted in Chicago, Consolidated Book Publishers Inc., The Kit book for Soldiers, Sailors, & Marines, 1942 & 1943.
"The Heart of a Broken Story"
Esquire XVI (September 1941), pp.32, 131-133.
"The Heart of a Broken Story" is Salinger's satirical story about the products of the slick magazines in the 30's and 40's. Salinger pokes fun at the formulaic boy meets girl stories that appear with regularity in the magazines. A very funny story, it also has a serious filp-side. The only story to be narrated by Salinger himself, it nonetheless shows his unwillingness to control his characters.
"The Long Debut of Lois Taggett"
Story XXI, (September/October 1942), pp.28-34,
"The Long Debut of Lois Taggett" is the tale of a debutante and her long process of coming out. Throughout this pessimistic story, Lois struggles to deal with the harshness of reality and maintain her own humanity. Before she can let go of pretense, she must first deal with a psychotic husband, a loveless second marriage, and her child's crib death.
When, in 1963, Story magazine requested permission to reprint this story, Salinger declined.
Reprinted in New York, Dutton, Story: The Fiction of The Forties, 1949, pages 153-162.
"Personal Notes of an Infantryman"
Collier's CX (December 12, 1942), pp.96.
"Personal Notes of an Infantryman" is a War story about an older man trying to get in the military, and then overseas to combat with a surprise ending. Readers of "The Hang of It" will have a strong sense of deja vu at this story's end.
"The Varioni Brothers"
Saturday Evening Post CCXVI (July 17, 1943), pp.12-13,76-77.
"The Varioni Brothers" is a short story dealing with two brothers, one a sensitive artist who's attempts at writing the great American novel are thwarted by the manipulations of his brother who forces him to write music instead of his book. Ultimately, the good brother is destroyed due to his brothers actions. Salinger had hoped that this story would be made into a movie, but it did not happen. Salinger was scornful of this story and hid the fact that it was analogous of the duality of his own nature. However, he ressurrected portions of this story in later works - primarily through the characters of Seymour and Buddy Glass.
"Both Parties Concerned"
Saturday Evening Post, CCXVI (February 20, 1944), pp.14,47-48.
"Both Parties Concerned" is a story of a young couple and their baby. The story chronicles their struggles to mature from adolescence and the conflicts they encounter. This was an experimental work for Salinger, who used it to explore different character-types and vernacular. Readers will doubtlessly sense the presence of Holden Caulfield in its main character. It is possible that the character of Ruthie is based upon a Bainbridge, Georgia "peach" with whom Salinger had a romance. It was originally titled "Wake Me When It Thunders."
"Soft Boiled Sergeant"
Saturday Evening Post, CCXVI, (April 15, 1944) pp.18,32,82-85.
Written before he had actually seen combat, "Soft-Boiled Sergeant" chronicles a young soldier's entry in the military and his contact with a good natured Staff Sergeant he could never forget. Despite its military setting and condemnation of phoniness, this is primarily a story about love written at a difficult stage in Salinger's personal life. It was originally titled "Death of a Dogface."
"Last Day of the Last Furlough"
Saturday Evening Post CCXVII (July 15, 1944), pp.26-27, 61-62, 64.
"Last Day of the Last Furlough" covers the last days of furlough for Babe Gladwaller before he is shipped off to the war. Salinger claimed indifference toward this story but it remains an important work (ushering in "something new in [his] work"), and among his most intensely personal. He uses his own Army SSN number as Babe's, perhaps in reference to his own departure for the war. Babe spends most of the time with his little sister, Mattie, until his fellow soldier Vincent Caufield comes over to spend the evening with them before departing in the morning. In this story, Vincent announces his brother Holden has been reported Missing in Action. Babe and Mattie's relationship mirrors the future relationship between Holden and Phoebe. Babe's monologue to his sister is poignant and reminiscent of Holden's desire to catch innocence.
"Once a Week Won't Kill You"
Story XXV (November/December 1944), pp.23-27.
"Once a Week Won't Kill You" is another of Salinger's stories dealing with the departure of a soldier for combat in Europe, and the soldiers request that his wife spend more time with his Aunt when he is gone. Oddly, this story was written when Salinger was already in England.
"A Boy in France"
Saturday Evening Post CCXVII (March 31,1945), pp.21,92.
"A Boy in France" is one of the few stories in which Salinger deals with combat in the war. The setting is at the front, a soldier in his foxhole, trying to maintain his sanity by reading, and rereading a note sent from his sister. Again, Babe is a forunner of Holden and his relationship with his little sister Pheobe in Catcher in the Rye. This is a stark and symbolic tale with an inspiring ending. Like a number of Salinger's early stories, stylistically, "A Boy in France" is only a notch away from being pure poetry.
Story XXV (March/April 1945), pp.38-47.
"Elaine" is a story of a beautiful but slow girl incapable of dealing with the real world and the people that that would take advantage of her. As the story progresses we become increasingly protective of Elaine. The story's ending convinces us of the wisdom and kindness of allowing different realities to different circumstances. But it also hints at the irretrivability of beauty once it has been crushed.
"This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise"
Esquire XXIV (October 1945), pp.54-56, 147-149,
"This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise" is the hauntingly poetic account of an anguished Vincent Caufield, Holden's older brother, who narrates this story as a sergeant waiting in the back of a troop truck of men preparing to go to a dance in town. Vincent's mind is totally caught up in thoughts about Holden though, who he has been told is Missing in Action. This story leaves Vincent in the throes of desperation and an unwillingness to accept. It is filled with peace-time reminiscences of the Caulfield family. Narrated in the first person, this is Salinger's first story told as stream-of-consciousness.
Reprinted in New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, The Armchair Esquire, 1958 & 1960, pp. 187-197.
Collier's CXVI (December 1, 1945), pp.18,77.
Babe Gladwaller and his little sister Mattie reappear in "The Stranger". Babe feels it his responsibility to seek out Vincent Caulfield's former girlfriend (the king-hording Helen Beebers from "The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls") and tell her that Vincent has been killed in action. Afterwards, Babe has an epiphany through Mattie that changes his perception (much as Holden will have through Phoebe and Teddy will have watching his own sister drink milk) and renews him. As all three of the Caulfield brothers are dead at the time of this story, this is chronologically the last of the Caulfield stories.
It is likely that Salinger refers to this story in a July 1945 letter to Ernest Hemingway.
Collier's CXVI, (December 22, 1945), pp.36,48,51.
"I'm Crazy" is an early version of Holden's departure from prep school that later shows up in The Catcher in the Rye. With minor alteration, much of this story is familiar to readers as the chapter where Holden visits Mr. Spencer. What sets this story apart from the Catcher version is the presence of an additional Caulfield sister and the clarity of Holden's resignation and compromise at the end.
"Slight Rebellion off Madison"
New Yorker, 22 (December 1946), pp.76-79, or 82-86,
"Slight Rebellion off Madison" is an early version of a scene in The Catcher in the Rye. The story follows Holden when he is home from Pency and goes to the movies, then skating with Sally Hayes. Followed by his drunken calls to her apartment late at night. An early story, it is the first of Salinger's Caulfied works to be accepted for publication. Although written in 1941, the New Yorker witheld its publication until after the war. It has a strong Fitzgerald feel.
Reprinted in New York, Random House, Wonderful Town: NY Stories from the New Yorker, David Remnick. 2000.
"A Young Girl in 1941 with No Waist at All"
Mademoiselle 25 (May 1947), pp.222-223,292-302.
"A Young Girl in 1941 with No Waist at All" is set on a cruise ships final voyage to Havana just prior to its conversion to use in WWII as a transport. The story involves a crew member falling in love with a engaged girl and their relationship on board. Salinger himself served as this ship's entertainment director in 1941 and is plainly the basis for Ray Kinsella, the story's main character.
"The Inverted Forest"
Cosmopolitan (December 1947), pp.73-109,
"The Inverted Forest" is another one of Salinger's stories dealing with a great poet who is corrupted and prevented from his artistic calling by the negative influence of other people. This story examines the relationship of poetry to art, art to spirituality, and spirituality to revelation. One of Salinger's longer magazine pieces, it was understood by few readers and notably unpopular.
Reprinted in Cosmopolitan Diamond Jubilee Iss, March, 1961, 111-32.
"A Girl I Knew"
Good Housekeeping 126 (February 1948), pp.37,186-196.
"A Girl I Knew" is set in pre-WWII Austria and deals with an American in Vienna who falls in love with a Jewish girl just as the Nazis come to power. On his return to Vienna as a American soldier after the war, he seeks out the girl only to find she has been killed in a concentration camp. Despite its very funny begining, this story examines the human ability to commit and acquiesce to atrocities, and convicts all people for that capability.
Although the extent of the love relationship remains unknown, the basic events of this story actually happened to Salinger. After the war, Salinger had a powerful desire to reunite with the girl depicted in this story, going as far as to ask Counter Intelligence for a transfer to Vienna. Originally titled "Wien, Wien".
Reprinted in Best American Short Stories of 1949, 1949, pp 248-260.
"Blue Melody" or "Needle on a Scratchy Phonograph Record"
Cosmopolitan, CXXV (September, 1948), pp.50-51,112-119.
"Blue Melody", originally titled "Needle on a Scratchy Phonograph Record" is a story of Jazz and segregation. It follows a promising Jazz singer as her career climbs, only to have it end when her appendicitis bursts and no hospital will treat her. This story is Salinger's tribute to Blues great Bessie Smith and contains an appearance by the Varioni Brothers.
"Hapworth 16, 1924"
New Yorker, (June 19, 1965), pp.32-113
"Hapworth 16, 1924" was supposed to be published in 1997 as the first new "book" of Salinger since "Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters" and "Seymour: An Introduction in 1963, but it has yet to occur. Originally published in the New Yorker the story is a long letter from Seymour to his parents from camp where he and Buddy are staying for the summer. Seymour shows himself an extremely precocious 7 year old. The letter is composed of Seymour's opinions and reflections on various topics, including his parents, Buddy, and his experiences while at the camp. While enlightening, it is tinged with a hint of misfit sadness. The letter is relayed to us by Buddy who has recently discovered its existence. Buddy is now grown and Seymour has been dead for a number of years, making this find a bittersweet one. The existence of the letter will surprise Glass fans as Seymour was notorious for avoiding letter-writing. The insights and perspectives contained in the letter are both remarkable and comforting. For Salinger fans, this is a vital work.
Vincent Caulfield's friend, Babe Gladwaller narrates three of the Caulfield stories. Babe Gladwaller is a thinly veiled representation of Salinger himself. One of these stories, "Last Day of the Last Furlough" was written as Salinger received his orders for active combat duty in Europe. Babe finds himself in the same situation in this story and contemplates the possibility that he will not return home from the war. Also in this story, Vincent verifies to Babe that he has received word that his brother, Holden Caulfield, is missing in action and presumed to be dead. At the time of this story, readers have yet to be introduced to Holden's character ("Slight Rebellion Off Madison" was being held unreleased by The New Yorker ). If Babe Gladwaller represents Salinger then it is likely that Holden Caulfield represents The Catcher in the Rye, which Salinger had yet to complete. Had Salinger died in action, the world would have never known his novel and Holden Caulfield would have become a true casualty of war.