On “forward” opinions

by look i have opinions

“Without keeping up a merciless guard, day and night, the variety of forward opinions in this world could easily destroy one’s sanity; I am not exaggerating; in the last analysis, how long can one carry on with rotten, unreliable criteria, very touching and human to examine, respect, and uphold, but entirely liable to go to pieces with a sharp change of company or passing scenery?”

—seven-year-old Seymour Glass in “Hapworth 16, 1924,” by J. D. Salinger (from the June 19, 1965 New Yorker)

I’m pretty sure the dangling participle is one of the few ways Salinger intends to suggest the narrator’s age. Anyway, this is just how I feel about opinions. Bad news for me—he goes on to question the existence of facts.

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