November 1, 1986
The Oct. 18 Op-ed Page column by Norman Podhoretz missed the point. He questioned the recent celebration of the 25th anniversary of Catch-22, a satiric novel by Joseph Heller. It is apparent that Mr. Podhoretz thinks the book deserves no honor, particularly not by the Air Force Academy. The Air Force is portrayed in the book as "an organization run by idiots and lunatics who send countless young boys to their deaths for no reason other than the furthering of their own personal ambitions.
October 18, 1986 |
When I first heard that the Air Force Academy was planning a conference to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the publication of Catch-22, I thought the academy must be playing some kind of joke to get even with Joseph Heller's cruel satire of its own branch of the service. But as it turned out, the only joke the academy was playing was on itself - and on the United States of America. The Air Force, as portrayed in this novel which the Air Force has just honored, is an organization run by idiots and lunatics who send countless young boys to their deaths for no reason other than the furthering of their own personal ambitions.
February 17, 1994 |
You thought you'd never see another book like Joseph Heller's classic, Catch-22? Think again. Heller has written a sequel to the 1961 work - Closing Time - and Simon & Schuster is expected to have it in bookstores this fall, the New York Times reported yesterday. "The book and its title come directly from my stage in my career and my stage in life," Heller told the Times. "It occurred to me that it might be a good idea to write about some of the characters of Catch-22, blend them in with a number of new characters and infuse it with my new experiences since World War II. " Closing Time does not continue where Catch-22 left off - in the Mediterranean during the final months of World War II - but is set in present- day New York.
November 10, 1991 |
The sputtering economy has plunged President Bush into a Catch-22 trap. The worse the economy gets, the more pressure Bush faces to do something to fix it. But whatever he tries - Catch-22 - is likely to make things worse. Bush is trapped by this year's record $350 billion budget deficit, by the Democrats' control of Congress, by the timing of the recovery from recession and of the 1992 election, and by financial markets that are intensely aware of those other traps. "I would say he's between a rock and a hard place," said Robert Brusca, chief economist for Nikko Securities Co. in New York.
October 2, 1994 |
CLOSING TIME By Joseph Heller Simon & Schuster. 464 pp. $24 In an era when conglomerates bankroll follow-ups to classic novels like Wuthering Heights and Gone With the Wind, then hire the writer after a high- profile search, it takes chutzpah to write the sequel to your own book. Score one for Joseph Heller, author of the epochal Catch-22 (1961), now finally tying up the strings of his renowned black comedy in Closing Time (which he describes as more a "completion" than a sequel)
December 14, 1999 |
There is only one catch to life - you eventually die. Joseph Heller, the snowy-haired, wisecracking Brooklyn-born novelist whose anti-war classic, Catch-22 (1961), rocketed its title into a catchphrase for paradoxical fixes in which one loses no matter what, died Sunday of a heart attack at his East Hampton, Long Island home. He was 76. "He was a wonderful writer," Norman Mailer, a contemporary of his, said yesterday, "and there aren't that many left. " "Oh, God, how terrible," exclaimed author and friend Kurt Vonnegut, who last spoke to Heller a week ago. "This is a calamity for American letters.
November 29, 1986 |
Channel 3's annual Children's Telethon, despite its good intentions, pre- empts what would have been tonight's best TV offering: NBC's Jack Paar Comes Home. DAYTIME HIGHLIGHTS LITTLE EARS: THE VELVETEEN RABBIT (10 a.m., Ch. 12) - VCR alert: This pilot for a PBS children's series is a lovely addition to any family's videotape collection. George Winston's music and Meryl Streep's narration enhance the original illustrations to this lovely story. WONDERWORKS: ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (5 p.m., Ch. 12)
December 15, 1999
In the year 3000, when they dig up time capsules from a millennium before, they will ask, "What was it like to be alive back then? What was life in the United States and the world like?" Here's hoping that time capsule contains Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, who died Tuesday at 76 of a heart attack. If any novel can tell them, Catch-22 can. Mr. Heller, a bombardier during World War II, turned that experience into one of the funniest and most horrifying of artworks, and easily the best American novel to come out of that war. Set on the island of Pianosa, the novel presented the ultimate satire on the organization man, the unthinking patriot, the pretentious overling, the murderous machinery of power.
June 15, 2010 |
Anglo-American polemicist, literary critic, and political wag Christopher Hitchens has been called, usually to his great dismay, America's last public intellectual, a contrarian who philosophizes with a hammer, and a political gadfly. Hitchens, whose books include Thomas Jefferson: Author of America and God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything , will discuss his new tome, Hitch-22: A Memoir , Tuesday night at 7:30 at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Central Library, 1901 Vine St. On Monday, while waiting for a flight to Miami at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., Hitchens, 61, talked by cell phone about his life, his politics, and his distaste for religion.