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Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller at the Miami Book Fair International of 1986
Born May 1, 1923(1923-05-01)[1]
Brooklyn, New York[1]
Died December 12, 1999 (aged 76)[1]
Long Island, New York[1]
Occupation Novelist, Short story writer, Playwright
Genres Satire, Black comedy
Notable work(s) Catch-22

Joseph Heller (May 1, 1923 – December 12, 1999) was an American satirical novelist, short story writer and playwright. He wrote the influential novel Catch-22 about American servicemen during World War II. The title of this work entered the English lexicon to refer to absurd, no-win choices, particularly in situations in which the desired outcome of the choice is an impossibility, and regardless of choice, the same negative outcome is a certainty.

Heller is widely regarded as one of the best post-World War II satirists. Although he is remembered primarily for Catch-22, his other works center on the lives of various members of the middle class and remain exemplars of modern satire.

Contents

Early years

Joseph Heller was born in Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, the son of poor Jewish parents from Russia.[2] Even as a child, he loved to write; as a teenager, he wrote a story about the Russian invasion of Finland and sent it to New York Daily News, which rejected it.[3] After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1941,[4][5] Heller spent the next year working as a blacksmith's apprentice,[6] a messenger boy, and a filing clerk.[2] In 1942, at age 19, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. Two years later he was sent to Italy, where he flew 60 combat missions as a B-25 bombardier.[6] His Unit was the 488th Bomb Squadron, 340th Bomb Group, 12th Air Force. Heller later remembered the war as "fun in the beginning... You got the feeling that there was something glorious about it."[7] On his return home he "felt like a hero... People think it quite remarkable that I was in combat in an airplane and I flew sixty missions even though I tell them that the missions were largely milk runs."[7]{"Milk Runs"-non-combat air missions}

After the war, Heller studied English at the University of Southern California and NYU on the G.I. Bill.[8] In 1949, he received his M.A. in English from Columbia University.[9] Following his graduation, he spent a year as a Fulbright scholar at St. Catherine's College in Oxford University.[2] After returning home, he taught composition at Penn State University for two years. He then briefly worked for Time, Inc.,[8] before taking a job as a copywriter at a small advertising agency,[6] where he worked alongside future novelist Mary Higgins Clark.[10] At home, Heller would write. He was first published in 1948, when The Atlantic ran one of his short stories. That first story nearly won the "Atlantic First."[3]

Career

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Catch-22

While sitting at home one morning in 1953, Heller thought of a hook, "It was love at first sight. The first time he saw the chaplain, Someone fell madly in love with him." Within the next day, he began to envision the story that could result from this beginning, and invented the characters and the plot, as well as the tone and form that the story would eventually take. Within a week, he had finished the first chapter and sent it to his agent. He did not do any more writing for the next year, as he planned the rest of the story.[3] The initial chapter was published in 1955 as "Catch-18", in Issue 7 of New World Writing.[11]

Although he originally did not intend the story to be longer than a novelette, Heller was able to add enough substance to the plot that he felt it could become his first novel. When he was one-third done with the work, his agent, Candida Donadio, began submitting the novel to several publishers. Heller was not particularly attached to the work, and decided that he would not finish it if publishers were not interested.[3] The work was never rejected, and was soon purchased by Simon and Schuster, who gave him US $750 and promised him an additional $750 when the full manuscript was delivered.[11] Heller missed his deadline by four to five years,[11] but, after eight years of thought, delivered the novel to his publisher.[6]

The finished novel describes the wartime experiences of Army Air Corps Captain John Yossarian. Yossarian devises multiple strategies to avoid combat missions, but the military bureaucracy is always able to find a way to make him stay.[12] As Heller observed, "Everyone in my book accuses everyone else of being crazy. Frankly, I think the whole society is nuts -- and the question is: What does a sane man do in an insane society?"[6] Heller has also commented that "peace on earth would mean the end of civilization as we know it" -- perhaps further food for thought when reading Catch-22, in which the concept and circumstances of war are so overwhelming and fundamental.

Just before publication, the novel's title was changed to Catch-22 to avoid confusion with Leon Uris's new novel, Mila 18.[11] The novel was published in hardback in 1961 to mixed reviews, with the Chicago Sun-Times calling it "the best American novel in years",[8] while other critics derided it as "disorganized, unreadable, and crass".[13] It sold only 30,000 copies in the United States hardback in its first year of publication. (Reaction was very different in Great Britain, where, within one week of its publication, the novel reached number one on the bestseller lists.[11]) Once it was released in paperback in October 1962, however, Catch-22 caught the imaginations of many baby-boomers, who identified with the novel's anti-war sentiments.[12] The book went on to sell 10 million copies in the United States. The novel's title became a buzzword for a dilemma with no easy way out. Now considered a classic, the book was listed at number 7 on Modern Library's list of the top 100 novels of the century.[6] The United States Air Force Academy uses the novel to "help prospective officers recognize the dehumanizing aspects of bureaucracy."[8]

The movie rights to the novel were purchased in 1962, and, combined with his royalties, made Heller a millionaire. The film, which was directed by Mike Nichols and starred Alan Arkin, Jon Voight and Orson Welles, was not released until 1970.[2]

Other works

Shortly after Catch-22 was published, Heller thought of an idea for his next novel, which would become Something Happened. He did not act on this idea for two years, however. During that time period he focused on scripts, completing the final screenplay for the movie adaptation of Helen Gurley Brown's Sex and the Single Girl, as well as a television comedy script that eventually aired as part of "McHale's Navy". He also completed a play in only six weeks, but spent a great deal of time working with the producers as it was brought to the stage.[3]

In 1969, Heller wrote a play called We Bombed in New Haven. The play delivered an anti-war message while discussing the Vietnam War. It was originally produced by the Repertory Company of the Yale Drama School, with Stacey Keach in the starring role. After a slight revision, it was published by Alfred Knopf and then debuted on Broadway, starring Jason Robards.[14]

Heller's follow-up novel, Something Happened was finally published in 1974. Critics were enthusiastic about the book, and both its hardcover and paperback editions reached number one on the "New York Times" bestseller list.[2] Heller wrote an additional four novels, each of which took him several years to complete.[12] One of his later novels, Closing Time, revisited many of the characters who had been featured in Catch-22 as they adjusted to post-war New York.[12][15] All of the novels sold respectably well, but could not duplicate the success of his debut.[2] Told by an interviewer that he had never produced anything else as good as Catch-22, Heller famously responded, "Who has?"[16]

Work process

Heller did not begin work on a story until he had envisioned both a first and last line. The first sentence usually appeared to him "independent of any conscious preparation".[3] In most cases, the sentence did not inspire a second sentence. At times, he would be able to write several pages before giving up on that hook. Usually, within an hour or so of receiving his inspiration, Heller would have mapped out a basic plot and characters for the story. When he was ready to begin writing, he would focus on one paragraph at a time, until he had three or four handwritten pages, which he would then spend several hours reworking.[3]

Heller maintained that he did not "have a philosophy of life, or a need to organize its progression. My books are not constructed to 'say anything.'"[3] Only when he was almost one-third finished with the novel would he gain a clear vision of what it should be about. At that point, with the idea solidified, he would rewrite all that he had finished and then continue to the end of the story.[15] The finished version of the novel would often not begin or end with the sentences he had originally envisioned, although he usually tried to include the original opening sentence somewhere in the text.[3]

Later Teaching Career

In the 1970s Heller taught creative writing at the City College of New York.[17]

Illness

On Sunday, December 13, 1981, Heller was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a debilitating syndrome that was to leave him temporarily paralyzed.[12] He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Mount Sinai Medical Hospital the same day (Heller 1986, pp. 23–34), and remained there, bedridden, until his condition had improved enough to permit his transfer to the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, which occurred on January 26, 1982 (Heller 1986, pp. 170–174). His illness and recovery are recounted at great length in the autobiographical No Laughing Matter (Heller 1986), which contains alternating chapters by Heller and his good friend Speed Vogel. The book reveals the assistance and companionship Heller received during this period from a number of his prominent friends—Mel Brooks, Mario Puzo, Dustin Hoffman and George Mandel among them.[8]

Heller eventually made a substantial recovery. In 1984, while in the process of divorcing his wife of 35 years, he met Valerie Humphries, the nurse who had helped him to recover, and later married her.[8]

Later years

Heller returned to St. Catherine's as a visiting Fellow, for a term, in 1991 and was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the college.[18] In 1998, he released a memoir, Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here, in which he relived his childhood as the son of a deliveryman and offered some details about the inspirations for Catch-22.[8]

He died of a heart attack at his home in December 1999,[6] shortly after the completion of his final novel, Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man. On hearing of Heller's death, his friend Kurt Vonnegut said, "Oh, God, how terrible. This is a calamity for American letters."[6]

Catch-22 Controversies

In April 1998, Lewis Pollock wrote to The Sunday Times for clarification as to "the amazing similarity of characters, personality traits, eccentricities, physical descriptions, personnel injuries and incidents" in Catch-22 and a novel published in England in 1951. The book that spawned the request was written by Louis Falstein and titled The Sky is a Lonely Place in Britain and Face of a Hero in the United States. Falstein's novel was available two years before Heller wrote the first chapter of Catch-22 (1953) while he was a student at Oxford. The Times stated: "Both have central characters who are using their wits to escape the aerial carnage; both are haunted by an omnipresent injured airman, invisible inside a white body cast". Stating he had never read Falstein's novel, or heard of him,[19] Heller said: "My book came out in 1961[;] I find it funny that nobody else has noticed any similarities, including Falstein himself, who died just last year"(The Washington Post, April 27, 1998).

Works

Short stories

  • Catch As Catch Can: The Collected Stories and Other Writings (2003)

Autobiographies

Novels

Plays

  • We Bombed in New Haven (1967)
  • Catch 22 (1973)
  • Clevinger's Trial (1973)

Screenplays

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d "Joseph Heller." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2003 ed. pg. 870
  2. ^ a b c d e f His only son, Jeremiah Landrum, currently lives in Knox, IN. Heller's father was a bakery truck driver, who died in 1927. Joseph Heller: Literary giant, BBC, December 14, 1999, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/563390.stm, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Plimpton, George (Winter 1974), "Joseph Heller" (PDF), The Paris Review (60), http://www.theparisreview.com/media/3894_HELLER.pdf, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  4. ^ Hechinger, Fred M. "ABOUT EDUCATION; Personal Touch Helps", The New York Times, January 1, 1980. Accessed September 20, 2009. "Lincoln, an ordinary, unselective New York City high school, is proud of a galaxy of prominent alumni, who include the playwright Arthur Miller, Representative Elizabeth Holtzman, the authors Joseph Heller and Ken Auletta, the producer Mel Brooks, the singer Neil Diamond and the songwriter Neil Sedaka."
  5. ^ Abraham Lincoln High School, New York City Schools, http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/StudentEnroll/HSAdmissions/HSDirectory/Book/?sid=633, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Heller's legacy will be 'Catch-22' ideas, CNN, December 13, 1999, http://archives.cnn.com/1999/books/news/12/13/heller/index.html, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  7. ^ a b Mallory, Carole (May 1992), The Joe and Kurt Shoe, http://www.vonnegutweb.com/vonnegutia/interviews/int_heller.html, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Kisor, Henry (December 14, 1999), "Soaring satirist" ( – Scholar search), Chicago Sun-Times, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_19991214/ai_n13835423, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  9. ^ C250 Celebrates Columbians Ahead of Their Time: Joseph Heller, Columbia University, http://c250.columbia.edu/c250_celebrates/remarkable_columbians/joseph_heller.html, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  10. ^ Clark, Mary Higgins (2002), Kitchen Privileges: A Memoir, Simon and Schuster, pp. 48–49, 53  
  11. ^ a b c d e Aldridge, John W. (October 26, 1986), "The Loony Horror of it All - 'Catch-22' Turns 25", The New York Times: Section 7, Page 3, Column 1, http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/02/15/home/heller-loony.html, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  12. ^ a b c d e () 1999 Year in Review: Joseph Heller, CNN, December 1999, http://www.cnn.com/interactive/specials/9912/yearinreview.passages/content/books/heller.html, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  13. ^ Shenker, Israel (September 10, 1968), "Joseph Heller Draws Dead Bead on the Politics of Gloom", The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/02/15/home/heller-politics.html, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  14. ^ Barnes, Clive (October 17, 1968), "Theater:Heller's 'We Bombed in New Haven' Opens", The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/02/15/home/heller-bombed.html, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  15. ^ a b Koval, Ramona (1998), Joseph Heller - Closing Time, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.abc.net.au/rn/arts/bwriting/heller.htm, retrieved 2007-08-30  
  16. ^ Joseph Heller, Darkly Surreal Novelist, Dies at 76, by Richard Severo and Herbert Mitgang. Obituary printed in the New York Times on December 14, 1999; accessed May 12, 2008.
  17. ^ http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Joseph+Heller
  18. ^ Catz People
  19. ^ [1](link broken)

References

  • Heller, Joseph; Vogel, Speed (1986), No Laughing Matter, New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, ISBN 0-399-13086-1  

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Frankly, I think the whole society is nuts — and the question is: What does a sane man do in an insane society?

Joseph Heller (1923-05-011999-12-12) was an American novelist and playwright.

See also: Catch-22

Contents

Sourced

  • When I read something saying I've not done anything as good as Catch-22 I'm tempted to reply, "Who has?"
    • As quoted in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Quotations (1997) edited by Peter Kemp, p. 303
  • The only wisdom I think I've attained is the wisdom to be sceptical of other people's ideology and other people's arguments. I tend to be a sceptic, I don't like dogmatic approaches by anybody. I don't like intolerance and a dogmatic person is intolerant of other people. It's one of the reasons I keep a distance from all religious beliefs. I think in this country and in Australia too there's a late intolerance in most religions, an intolerance, a part that could easily become persecutions.
    We have some ultra-orthodox Jewish sects here in New York and I fear them as much as I would fear a Nazi organisation.

Catch-22 (1961)

  • It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.
    • Opening Lines
  • The Texan turned out to be good-natured, generous and likeable. In three days no one could stand him.
  • 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 missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
    "That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.
    "It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.
  • "Open your eyes, Clevinger. It doesn't make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead."
  • Clevinger was dead. That was the basic flaw in his philosophy.
  • "The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on."
  • He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt, and his only mission each time he went up was to come down alive.
  • “From now on I'm thinking only of me.” Major Danby replied indulgently with a superior smile: “But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way?”
    “Then,” said Yossarian, “I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn't I?”
  • "Let someone else get killed!"
    "Suppose everyone on our side felt that way?"
    "Well then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn't I?"
  • Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three.
  • The case against Clevinger was open and shut. The only thing missing was something to charge him with.
  • Outside the hospital the war was still going on. Men went mad and were rewarded with medals.
  • "Climb, you bastard! Climb, climb, climb, climb! "
  • Yossarian - the very sight of the name made him shudder. There were so many esses in it. It just had to be subversive. It was like the word subversive itself. It was like seditious and insidious too, and like socialist, suspicious, fascist and Communist.
  • "They might have occurred if either General Dreedle or General Peckem had once evinced an interest in taking part in orgies with him, but neither ever did, and the colonel was certainly not going to waste his time and energy making love to beautiful women unless there was something in it for him."
  • "You know, that might be the answer - to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That's a trick that never seems to fail."
  • "But I make a profit of three and a quarter cents an egg by selling them for four and a quarter cents an egg to the people in Malta I buy them from for seven cents an egg. Of course, I don't make the profit. The syndicate makes the profit. And everybody has a share."
  • This time Milo had gone too far. Bombing his own men and planes was more than even the most phlegmatic observer could stomach, and it looked like the end for him...Milo was all washed up until he opened his books to the public and disclosed the tremendous profit he had made.
  • "Dear Mrs., Mr., Miss, or Mr. And Mrs. Daneeka: Words cannot express the deep personal grief I experienced when your husband, son, father, or brother was killed, wounded, or reported missing in action."
  • "Do you know how long a year takes when it's going away?" Dunbar repeated to Clevinger. "This long." He snapped his fingers. "A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you're an old man."
    "Old?" asked Clevinger with surprise. "What are you talking about?"
    "Old."
    "I'm not old."
    "You're inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unhooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast. How the hell else are you ever going to slow down?" Dunbar was almost angry when he finished.
    "Well, maybe it is true," Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. "Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it's to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?"
    "I do," Dunbar told him.
    "Why?" Clevinger asked.
    "What else is there?"
  • "How much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements?"
  • "[T]he God I don't believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He's not the mean and stupid God you make him out to be."
  • "Yossarian was cold, too, and shivering uncontrollably.... It was easy to read the message in his entrails. Man was matter, that was Snowden's secret. Drop him out a window and he'll fall. Set fire to him and he'll burn. Bury him and he'll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden's secret. Ripeness was all."
  • "Morale was deteriorating and it was all Yossarian's fault. The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them."

Something Happened (1974)

  • I get the willies when I see closed doors. Even at work, where I am doing so well now, the sight of a closed door is sometimes enough to make me dread that something horrible is happening behind it, something that is going to affect me adversely; if I am tired and dejected from a night of lies or booze or sex or just nerves and insomnia, I can almost smell the disaster mounting invisibly and flooding out toward me through the frosted glass panes. My hands may perspire, and my voice may come out strange. I wonder why.
    Something must have happened to me sometime.
    • Opening Lines
  • I do know that girls in their early twenties are easy and sweet. (Girls in their late twenties are easier but sad, and that isn't so sweet.) They are easy, I think, because they are sweet, and they are sweet, I think, because they are dumb.
  • The years are too short, the days are too long.
  • When I grow up I want to be a little boy.
  • In my middle years, I have exchanged the position of the fetus for the position of a corpse.
  • Women my wife's age with broken marriages take up robustly with fellows much younger than themselves, sometimes boys, and their husbands don't like that part of it at all. (It's a means they have of really sticking it to us. The husbands can do without the money and kids. But they can't abide their wives' humping a younger dick and letting everyone know.)
  • Women don't suffer from penis envy. Men do.

God Knows (1984)

Simon & Schuster, 1997, ISBN 0-684-84125-8

  • Whether God is dead or not hardly matters, for we would use him no differently anyway.
  • The promises of maniacs, like those of women, are not safely relied upon.
  • I hate God and I hate life. And the closer I come to death, the more I hate life.
  • I think I may have been the first grown man in the world to fall truly, passionately, sexually, romantically and sentimentally in love. I practically invented it.
  • Didn't I once observe that there is nothing new under the sun?
  • Love is potent stuff, isn't it?
  • Destiny is a good thing to accept when it's going your way. When it isn't, don't call it destiny; call it injustice, treachery or simple bad luck.
  • The wise man dies no better or more wisely than the fool. In what way, then, is the wise man wise?
  • He [God] owes me an apology too- at the very least. I'm not saying I shouldn't have been punished for those sins I committed. I'm saying that the punishments he chose were inhuman. I wonder what favor I'd want. I think I may be afraid to ask for it. I'm afraid He won't grant it. I'm more afraid that He will. Wouldn't it be tragic to find out that He really has been here all this time?
  • God does have this self-serving habit of putting all blame for His own mistakes on other people, doesn't He? He picks someone arbitrarily, unbidden, right out of the blue so to speak, and levies upon them tasks of monumental difficulty for which we don't always measure up in every particular, then charges US for HIS error in selecting imperfectly. He tends to forget that we are no more infallible than He is.
  • When one is infatuated, faults are endearing that in others would be heinous.
  • I am arrogant enough to wish I were modest as he and modest enough to know that this is arrogance.
  • "Is he in heaven? Is he in hell?"
    "There is no heaven. There is no hell."
    "There is no heaven? There is no hell?"
    "That's all in your mind."
  • If character is destiny, the good are damned.
  • The problem with the loneliness I suffer is that the company of others has never been a cure for it.
  • Nothing fails like success.
  • How dispiriting I find it, even after all my personal triumphs, that we must grow up and grow sad, that we must age, weaken, and in time go home to our long home in the ground, and that even golden lads and girls all must, as chimney sweepers, come to dust.
  • No one who ever wants praise will be satisfied with praise, the person who wants love cannot be satisfied with love. No want is ever fulfilled. And therefore I still don't know whether it is better to fear God and keep His commandments or to curse God and die.
  • He who steals my purse steals trash, but he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed.
  • Now THERE'S a hollow state to be in, isn't it- to believe in God and get no sign that He's there.
  • How ironic the difference between me and my young son Absalom, between his soliciting the soundest means of overtaking me and having my life, while I was cudgeling my brains for a way to spare his. "Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom," were my mawkish words to my commanders as their men trooped past me toward the positions they would take up in the field outside the wood of Ephraim for the battle in which he would die. "Beware that none touch the young man Absalom," I urged like a fool. No, not like a fool, but like a fond, doting father who will overlook and excuse everything in the child he loves best, and who breaks his heart. And in that singular disparity in our desires abides his lasting victory over me: I loved him and he did not love me.
  • Everybody is as unstable as water.
  • The last thing any sensible human being should want is immortality. As it is, life lasts too long for most of us.
  • I'm not even sure we really had that much need for God as much as we did seem to have a need to believe in Him.
  • All is vanity, you know, ALL in the long run is but vanity and vexation of spirit.
  • "If God was dead, how could I feel this bad?"
  • No one lusting for blood is ever innocent. Or satisfied. I have not been innocent. Or satisfied. Just as the man who wants silver will not be satisfied with silver, a man who wants the blood of another will not be satisfied with having that blood, nor the woman with jewels be satisfied with jewels, and the man who wants women will not be satisfied with women. Don't try telling me different. Haven't I looked about me in the city and seen how all labor is for the mouth, yet the appetite is not filled? Don't I know myself that no want is ever satisfied? Wishes are granted, goals attained. But wants? Forget them. They live as long as the person they inhabit.
  • Vanity. What's wrong with vanity? It doesn't satisfy.
  • "The truth is whatever people will believe is the truth. Don't you know history?"
  • I imagine that God Himself frequently wants to feel like a king. Why else would He create the world?
  • God is a murderer, imagine that. I told you I had the best story in the Bible, didn't I? I have always known that He was. Sooner or later He murders us all, doesn't He, and we go back to the dust from which we came. So I'm no longer scared to defy him. All He can do is kill me.
  • If the chance ever comes to you to fall in love, grab it, every time. You might always live to regret it, but you won't find anything to beat it, and you won't know if it will come to you once more.
  • Fools hate knowledge.

Good As Gold (1976)

  • Forever goes quick.
  • Gold was opposed to segregation and equally opposed to integration. Certainly he did not believe that women or homosexuals should suffer persecution or discrimination. On the other hand, he was privately opposed to all equal rights amendments, for he certainly did not want members of either group associating with him on levels of equality or familiarity.

Disputed

  • The end result of experiencing terror and injury is not an increase in compassion, but a tendency toward callousness.
    • Cited as being from Catch-22, but this is not found in that book.

Unsourced

  • Every writer I know has trouble writing.

External links

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