The Catcher in the Rye "Old..."
by J.D. Salinger

The careful reader cannot fail to notice that almost every person's name which Holden references is prefixed by the word "Old," as in "Old Stradlater" or "Old Phoebe." This is a particularly ingenious device of Salinger's which reminds us that Holden is not living out the narrative, but retelling it. In the telling, everyone has become a distant, old memory.

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