Catch-22 Catch-22 question


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which war?
Lawrence Arnow Lawrence Oct 30, 2014 05:45PM
Does anyone think that the time period has shifted more now from WWII to Vietnam era? I think Catch-22 was great but? so was Platoon, 'Nam, Full-Metal Jacket, Semper-Fi Do-or-Die, A Rumor of War and more that cover Vietnam, which there are more living veterans from?



The book isn't more about the time period, rather than the message it is conveying, and the way it is conveyed. The war itself is only used as a backdrop to the anti-war themes Heller is discussing, and WW2 is used because Heller served during it. The time period is irrelevant. Catch-22 isn't about WW2, but the people who fought in it.


Like Feliks says, history doesn't move around. The Catch-22 paradox itself wasn't a new observation - Rebecca West made the same point, maybe better, in The Return of the Soldier. I don't see the time-frame for war literature moving like that.

But what you can say is that people will always find war books fresher if the veterans are still around. I've just read Tim O'Brien's great post-Vietnam mystery In the Lake of the Woods, and it did have a bit more resonance because I remembered the Vietnam war, although I was only 16 when it ended.


I agree with both Lawrence and Austin because I think the time frame does matter even though the main thing is quality of the book. I read Lonely are the brave, The Naked and the Dead and others but enjoyed Platoon and Semper Fi do or die and Dispatches much more; not just the time frame but the writing also.


Feliks (last edited Oct 30, 2014 08:33PM ) Oct 30, 2014 08:31PM   0 votes
What do you mean by 'shifting time period'? History doesn't move around.

I'd bet pretty confidently that there are way more books written about WWII than Vietnam. Vietnam was a puny little skirmish compared to WWII. WWII encircled the globe with conflict; made us a world power; was the major event of modern times. IF people are beginning to lose sight of that, well...there's no accounting for the mental habits of imbeciles.

34151223
Lawrence Arnow we, America, keep replaying the Vietnam war, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and keep backing the wrong country for the wrong reason. WWII was just the oppo ...more
Nov 23, 2014 03:23PM · flag
34151223
Lawrence Arnow we, America, keep replaying the Vietnam war, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and keep backing the wrong country for the wrong reason. WWII was just the oppo ...more
Nov 23, 2014 03:23PM · flag

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