Title: Raise High The Roof Beams, Carpenters & ...
Publisher: Little Brown
Publication Date: 1959
Edition: 1st Edition.
Boston. 1959. Little Brown. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Faded Boards. No Dustjacket. 248 pages. hardcover. keywords: Literature America. inventory # 6408. FROM THE PUBLISHER - RAISE HIGH THE ROOF BEAM, CARPENTERS was originally published by The New Yorker magazine. Like many of the other Glass family stories, Raise High is narrated by Buddy Glass, the second of the Glass brothers, and describes Buddy’s visit on Army leave (during World War II, in 1942) to attend the wedding of his brother Seymour, and tells of the events that follow the wedding’s non-occurrence. The events that occur in this story set the stage for Seymour’s suicide in 1948. Seymour is described through the eyes of Buddy--the only way readers can picture him--and through those of the would-be wedding’s attendants. Included is the Matron of Honor, a gruff and burly woman whom Buddy meets in a limo leaving the site of wedding. The rest of the passengers (who include her husband Robert, Muriel’s father’s deaf-mute uncle and a middle-aged woman named Helen Silsburn) have no idea Buddy is in fact Seymour’s brother. Throughout the story the Matron of Honor criticizes Seymour’s no-show at his wedding, and describes how smart Muriel’s mother is and her theories on Seymour’s behavior. The conversations and Buddy’s subsequent retort illustrates Buddy’s--thus Salinger’s--annoyance with judgmental and insensitive people. There can be no contempt where there is Zen-like acceptance. At one point in the story, Buddy finds Seymour’s diary and rescues it before anyone can see it. He brings it in the bathroom and reads the only direct, unfiltered dialogue from Seymour. In the later story ‘Hapworth 16, 1924’ Buddy asserts the letter is reproduced ‘word for word’ as to assure the reader these are Seymour’s thoughts and not his. By then the membrane separating the two brothers was nearly indistinguishable, and Salinger realized this, as exemplified in the story that followed ‘Raise High,’ ‘Seymour: An Introduction.’ The eldest Glass brother, Seymour, is not the protagonist of this story, as he is of many others (A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Seymour: An Introduction, Hapworth 16, 1924). Seymour is usually portrayed through the eyes of his writer-brother Buddy, who purports to live in the shadow of his brilliant brother. The title of the story is the first line of a message left by Boo Boo Glass for Seymour on the bathroom mirror of the family’s apartment, which Buddy discovers towards the end of the story. The message itself begins with a line taken from Sappho’s ‘Dearest Earth’s Offspring and Heaven’s’: ‘Raise high the roof beam, carpenters. Like Ares comes the bridegroom, taller far than a tall man.’. Very Good In Faded Boards. No Dustjacket. Bookseller Inventory # 6408
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