4

In Chapter 21 of Catcher in the Rye, Phoebe tells Holden about a movie she saw at the "Lister Foundation". No other mention of the Foundation appears in the text. Was it a real organization when Salinger wrote Catcher? If not, is it based on another organization, or is it a product of Salinger's imagination?

2

No obvious organisation of building of that name is found in online searches, though the world is apparently full of Lister Foundations charitably giving grants and drilling wells etc.

I did find a book by Grace Elizabeth Hale called A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America which contains the following snippet from a page not included in the Google Books preview:

The Lister Foundation may refer to the Lister Institute in the UK, which is a medical research charity founded in 1891. I cannot find any reference to a film fitting Salinger's description of The Doctor.

It is possible that Salinger had used materials referencing the Lister Institute when researching for Allie's leukaemia and had the name in mind, or it may have been pure invention.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.