Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Catch-22 in Motion: Forever is a Long Time

Came across this bizarre paperback cover for the always-still-relevant 1961 Joseph Heller novel, Catch-22.

"Read it . . . and you'll never be quite the same again," it beams.

Fine, but what's meant exactly by "THE POLYMESMERIC BESTSELLER CATCH-22 JOSEPH HELLER"? Poly = many, mesmeric = hypnotic. More, as is said in the parlance of our day, or less.

Bizarre covers to bizarre books match bizarre times, as do penetrating and bizarro dialogues:

From Mike Nichols' 1970 adaptation (with Buck Henry) of Catch-22, also called Catch-22. Art Garfunkel as a 19-year old American GI being enlightened about history by a 107-year old Italian dude (Marcel Dalio) in a brothel.

Today's Rune: Harvest. "There's a moon in the sky / It's called the moon." B-52s.


the walking man said...

If I could I would but if I do I find out I should have done it different but the option for the other way was not present when the alternatives were being decided. Either way it doesn't matter because in the end there never was a 'right' way to get to the means that produced the ends.

Anonymous said...

Orr escaped to freedom in a rubber raft with a rubber oar. He practiced and survived a lot of crash landings to be able to escape. You had to hand it to him. He was brilliant. Devious, but brilliant.--Joseph Heller

Charles Gramlich said...

I've still never read Catch 22. When I was younger, someone described it to me as "funny," and my experience of funny books has been that they aren't. That single thing has biased me against the book ever since and it's just kept slipping down through my list of books to read. I have a copy. One of these days I will read it. I know I should.

Erik Donald France said...

Hey all, thanks for reading/commenting!

Orr's the one!

Charles, I don't think you'd like it much -- your bias here may have spared you. It's definitely not for everybody, and it's a bit dated. In today's world, it might better work as a short story.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I agree. Catch-22, in today's society, might fare better as a short story. A sign of the times perhaps. Still, I've never seen the cover you've displayed. Interesting.

spencer said...

dr france are you going to be at uls tomorrow or friday? if so what time, i want to say hi