By Sheldon Kopp
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Extra info for An End to Innocence
She shouted at my father. As instructed, he took over. Speaking to her, rather than to me, he offered the absolute assurance: "He will never steal again. " Needless to say, I did steal again. But I didn't steal 23 to get movie money. Within two weeks my father was slipping me fifteen cents each Saturday morning, saying, "Go enjoy the movies, but don't tell your mother. " I could see then that the honesty of my confession was not sufficient. It could not make up for my initial dishonesty in stealing in the first place.
It was clearly a matter of faith. What I remember most vividly is the pain of being rapped across the knuckles by the rabbi's metal-edged ruler when I made a mistake in my Aleph, Beth, Gimels (the Hebrew A, B, Cs). Submitting voluntarily to this abuse is something I could only have suffered because I believed that it was the path toward my living happily ever after. Getting up an hour early each morning, I would go through the ritual prayers, exercises, and ablutions. Not only was I going to be a good Jew, I was going to be the best Jew.
1 Holden spoke for many kids of my generation. Thirty years and nine million copies later, his discontented vernacular continues to validate the feelings of successive generations of young people. Holden would have been crazy about this success. Protecting child-like innocence and purity was what he wanted to do most in all the world. I remember when he tried to tell Old Phoebe about it. It was right after he flunked out of prep school. Not that he cared about that. It was so goddam phony he couldn't have stood it another minute without puking anyway.
An End to Innocence by Sheldon Kopp