Presents the contemporary classic depicting the struggles of a U.S. airman attempting to survive the lunacy and depravity of a World War II base
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Discusses the writing of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Includes critical essays on the work and a brief biography of the author.
Presents a collection of essays analyzing Heller's Catch-22, including a chronology of his works and life.
By showing that Joseph Heller was heavily influenced by the New Criticism and myth criticism that he studied in graduate school, this book discloses that <I>Catch-22 is a faithful and inclusive retelling of the ancient epic of Gilgamesh, much as Joyce's <I>Ulysses famously recapitulates Homer's <I>Odyssey. This book shows that what previous critics have understood to be characteristics of the absurdist and Black Humor influence are derived from Heller's faithfulness to the Babylonian text itself. The study details Heller's use of a mystical and Jungian framework to portray the individuation of a modern hero through his struggles with the mythic and archetypal forces of irrationalism as they are manifested in modern civilization. Revealing that Heller's conception is religious and mystical, this book explores Heller's use of T. S. Eliot's mythic method and the experimental techniques of Joyce's <I>Finnegans Wake. The themes of race, homosexuality, individuation, sado-masochism, and modernity are dealt with at length.
Comic novelist and critic, Paul McDonald, provides an accessible, revealing guide to Joseph Heller’s seminal anti-war novel, Catch-22. In order to help readers deepen their understanding of this perplexing comedy, McDonald succinctly contextualises it both in relation to the author’s life, and key developments in modern American literature. The book offers a thorough summary and analysis of the plot of Catch-22, addresses important characters such as Colonel Cathcart, Lieutenant Scheisskopf, Milo Minderbinder, Major Major, and Doc Daneeka, and explains the various ways in which Yossarian’s hilarious predicament has been interpreted. Among other things it considers Yossarian’s status as a mythic hero, an individualist hero, and a postmodern hero, assessing his relevance to contemporary America, and his re-emergence in the sequel to Catch-22, Closing Time, published in 1994. It also offers a descriptive bibliography of important secondary sources, and links to useful online texts.
Describes the background of Catch-22, discusses its themes, and looks at its critical reception
A darkly comic and ambitious sequel to the American classic Catch-22. In Closing Time, Joseph Heller returns to the characters of Catch-22, now coming to the end of their lives and the century, as is the entire generation that fought in World War II: Yossarian and Milo Minderbinder, the chaplain, and such newcomers as little Sammy Singer and giant Lew, all linked, in an uneasy peace and old age, fighting not the Germans this time, but The End. Closing Time deftly satirizes the realities and the myths of America in the half century since WWII: the absurdity of our politics, the decline of our society and our great cities, the greed and hypocrisy of our business and culture -- with the same ferocious humor as Catch-22. Closing Time is outrageously funny and totally serious, and as brilliant and successful as Catch-22 itself, a fun-house mirror that captures, at once grotesquely and accurately, the truth about ourselves.
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Pages: 30. Chapters: Catch-22 characters, Nately, Joseph Heller, Yossarian, List of Catch-22 characters, Doc Daneeka, Orr, Milo Minderbinder, Captain Aardvark, B-25 Mitchell aircraft in Catch-22, Scheisskopf, Major Major, Chaplain Tappman, Pianosa, C.I.D. Investigators, Colonel Cathcart, Closing Time, Catch 22, Catch as Catch Can: The Collected Stories and Other Writings. Excerpt: Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1944 onwards, is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century. It has a distinctive non-chronological style where events are described from different characters' points of view and out of sequence so that the time line develops along with the plot. The novel follows Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier, and a number of other characters. Most events occur while the Airmen of the fictional 256th squadron are based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea west of Italy. Among other things, Catch-22 is a general critique of bureaucratic operation and reasoning. Resulting from its specific use in the book, the phrase "Catch-22" is common idiomatic usage meaning "a no-win situation" or "a double bind" of any type. Within the book, "Catch-22" is a military rule, the self-contradictory circular logic that, for example, prevents anyone from avoiding combat missions. In Heller's own words: There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more...