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J.D. Salinger may be the quintessential American author of the “authentic.” His most well-known character, Holden Caulfield, is obsessed with a “phony” world in which no one values innocence and sincerity, where people love bad movies and ignore true moments of beauty. This obsession has been the source of derision and popularity for The Catcher in the Rye. Critics dismiss Caulfield’s adolescent whining as egotistical, while fans of the novel sympathize with his desire for something really beautiful and true in an increasingly profane and mediated age. But whatever you think of Holden, his anxiety is instructive for those of us who live in a culture where personal image has become formalized through social networks.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christandpopculture/2014/02/authenticating-ourselves-to-death/#ixzz3Sc7T9Hfq