Catch 22 Quotes

Quotes tagged as "catch-22" Showing 1-30 of 38
Joseph Heller
“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.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Joseph Heller
“To Yossarian, the idea of pennants as prizes was absurd. No money went with them, no class privileges. Like Olympic medals and tennis trophies, all they signified was that the owner had done something of no benefit to anyone more capably than everyone else.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Joseph Heller
“I’m not running away from my responsibilities. I’m running to them. There’s nothing negative about running away to save my life.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Jasper Fforde
“You see? I know where every single book used to be in the library.' She pointed to the shelf opposite. 'Over there was Catch-22, which was a hugely popular fishing book and one of a series, I believe.”
Jasper Fforde, Shades of Grey

Joseph Heller
“So many things were testing his faith. There was the Bible, of course, but the Bible was a book, and so were Bleak House, Treasure Island, Ethan Frome and The Last of the Mohicans. Did it then seem probable, as he had once overheard Dunbar ask, that the answers to riddles of creation would be supplied by people too ignorant to understand the mechanics of rainfall? Had Almighty God, in all His infinite wisdom, really been afraid that men six thousand years ago would succeed in building a tower to heaven?”
Joseph Heller, Catch 22

Joseph Heller
“Who is Spain?
Why is Hitler?
Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?”
Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller
“Yossarian was cold, too, and shivering uncontrollably. He felt goose pimples clacking all over him as he gazed down despondently at the grim secret Snowden had spilled all over the messy floor. 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.

I'm cold,' Snowden said. 'I'm cold.”
Joseph Heller, Catch 22

Joseph Heller
“The night was filled with horrors, and he thought he knew how Christ must have felt as he walked through the world, like a psychiatrist through a ward full of nuts, like a victim through a prison full of thieves. What a welcome sight a leper must have been!”
Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller
“He was one of those people with lots of intelligence but no brains”
Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller
“Four times during the first six days they were assembled and briefed and then sent back. Once, they took off and were flying in formation when the control tower summoned them down. The more it rained, the worse they suffered. The worse they suffered, the more they prayed that it would continue raining. All through the night, men looked at the sky and were saddened by the stars. All through the day, they looked at the bomb line on the big, wobbling easel map of Italy that blew over in the wind and was dragged in under the awning of the intelligence tent every time the rain began. The bomb line was a scarlet band of narrow satin ribbon that delineated the forward most position of the Allied ground forces in every sector of the Italian mainland.

For hours they stared relentlessly at the scarlet ribbon on the map and hated it because it would not move up high enough to encompass the city.

When night fell, they congregated in the darkness with flashlights, continuing their macabre vigil at the bomb line in brooding entreaty as though hoping to move the ribbon up by the collective weight of their sullen prayers. "I really can't believe it," Clevinger exclaimed to Yossarian in a voice rising and falling in protest and wonder. "It's a complete reversion to primitive superstition. They're confusing cause and effect. It makes as much sense as knocking on wood or crossing your fingers. They really believe that we wouldn't have to fly that mission tomorrow if someone would only tiptoe up to the map in the middle of the night and move the bomb line over Bologna. Can you imagine? You and I must be the only rational ones left."

In the middle of the night Yossarian knocked on wood, crossed his fingers, and tiptoed out of his tent to move the bomb line up over Bologna.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Joseph Heller
“Her own body was such a familiar and unremarkable thing to her that she was puzzled by the convulsive ecstasy men could take from it, by the intense and amusing need they had merely to touch it, to reach out urgently and press it, squeeze it, pinch it, rub it. She did not understand Yossarian's lust; but she was willing to take is word for it.”
Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller
“They were the most depressing group of people Yossarian had ever been with. They were always in high spirits.”
Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller
“The night was full of horrors, and he thought he knew how Christ must have felt as he walked through the world, like a psychiatrist through a ward full of nuts.......”
joseph heller

Joseph Heller
“Nurse Duckett found Yossarian wonderful and was already trying to change him.”
Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller
“The spirit gone, man is garbage.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Will Self
“The book was thick and red. It was almost thicker than it was wide, a thickness that somehow enhanced its bookishness. It was - to me aged 12 - quite clearly more of a book than most, if not all, of the paperbacks untidily stacked on the shelves of my father's study.”
Will Self

Kevin  Williamson
“They'll have to try like hell to catch me this time. They will try like hell. And even if they don't find you, what kind of way is that to live? You'll always be alone, no one will ever be on your side, and you'll always live in danger of betrayal. I live that way now. But you can't just turn your back on all your responsibilities and run away from them, Major Danby insisted. It's such a negative mood. It's escapist. Yossarian laughed with buoyant scorn and shook his head. I'm not running away from my responsibilities. I'm running to them. There's nothing negative about running away to save my life."


Hetson: As I said in class, a lot of critics find that moment too sentimental. An author ham-fistedly reaching in and injecting an amoral tale with a moral. An embarrassing betrayal of all the dark comedy that came before it. But me? I've always kind of liked it. It has such a nice, hopeful ring to it. Do you see my point?”
Kevin Williamson

“​Dharma or Ethics and Morals are the Fundamental Set of Rules created for those who want to Play the Game, by those who are Inside the Game.”
Vineet Raj Kapoor

Joseph Heller
“With a little ingenuity and vision, he had made it all but impossible for anyone in the squadron to talk to him, which was just fine with everyone, he noticed, since no one wanted to talk to him anyway.”
Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller
“The chaplain glanced at the bridge table that served as his desk and saw only the abominable orange-red, pear-shaped, plum tomato he had obtained that same morning from Colonel Cathcart, still lying on its side where he had forgotten it like an indestructible and incarnadine symbol of his own ineptitude.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Stewart Stafford
“White males can't win these days - if they have something, they're "privileged" and if they want something, they're displaying "entitlement.”
Stewart Stafford

Joseph Heller
“This stuff is better than cotton candy, really it is. It’s made out of real cotton. Yossarian, you’ve got to help me make the men eat it. Egyptian cotton is the finest cotton in the world.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Joseph Heller
“Sure, there’s a catch,” Doc Daneeka replied. “Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Joseph Heller
“Of course you're dying. We're all dying. Where the devil else do you think you're heading?”
Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller
“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.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Dmitry Dyatlov
“These days about the worst job you can have is be a US military man. It's so shameful. You're so expensive, yet so completely useless. You know you can't fuck with Russia because they'll just start blowing nukes up for shits and giggles. And you can fuck with China because they probably have a shitton of biological weapons stashed in every Chinatown to take out most US population very, very quickly. At least that’s what I would do, and THEY are a lot smarter than I am. So you keep busy and pretend to be useful by killing Arabs in caves and shit, cuz that seems like a pretty low risk adventure. but... even that's gonna come back and bite you in the Ass eventually... these things usually do...”
Dmitry Dyatlov

Stewart Stafford
“The pursuit of money is empty and soul-destroying, and so is your bank account if you don't do it.”
Stewart Stafford

Steven Magee
“High altitude astronomy is a catch 22: Stay inside the observatory and get high altitude observatory disease (HAOD) or go outside and get radiation sickness. Either way, the sea level adapted human may develop sickness.”
Steven Magee

Joseph Heller
“And don't tell me God works in mysterious ways,' Yossarian continued, hurtling on over her objection. 'There's nothing so mysterious about it. He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about - a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, 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? Why in the world did He ever create pain?”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“For centuries it was considered that a criminal was given a sentence for precisely this purpose, to think about his crime for the whole period of his sentence, be conscience-stricken, repent, and gradually reform.

But the Gulag Archipelago knows no pangs of conscience! Out of one hundred natives—five are thieves, and their transgressions are no reproach in their own eyes, but a mark of valor. They dream of carrying out such feats in the future even more brazenly and cleverly. They have nothing to repent. Another five… stole on a big scale, but not from people; in our times, the only place where one can steal on a big scale is from the state, which itself squanders the people's money without pity or sense—so what was there for such types to repent of? Maybe that they had not stolen more and divvied up—and thus remained free? And, so far as another 85 percent of the natives were concerned—they had never committed any crimes whatever. What were they supposed to repent of? That they has thought what they thought? (Nonetheless, they managed to pound and muddle some of them to such an extent that they did repent—of being so depraved….) Or that a man had surrendered and become a POW in a hopeless situation? Or that he had taken employment under the Germans instead of dying of starvation? (Nonetheless, the managed so to confuse what was permitted and what was forbidden that there were some such who were tormented greatly: I would have done better to die than to have earned that bread.) Or that while working for nothing in the collective-farm fields, he had taken a mite to feed his children? Or that he had taken something from a factory for the same reason?

No, not only do you not repent, but your clean conscience, like a clear mountain lake, shines in your eyes.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books III-IV

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