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Book: Catch-22

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I was feeling like a cretin b/c I had read so few entries on the top 100 list (American or British). I've decided to try and knock off a couple to improve my score, which would still make me a cretin, but I'd be a cretin who's read a bunch of entries on top 100 lists.

I started off with Catch-22, which has turned out to be a really good choice. I started marking the pages that had something I thought were hilarious, and from the extended entry you can see that I pretty much marked up the entire book.

I would have really enjoyed using the search inside feature of Amazon on this book, but it appears that they don't have the rights to. Heller's non-linear story construction is an ideal candidate for searching. I found myself two-hundred pages into the book, thinking, "Now that sounds familiar. I feel like I'm having deja vu." It would be very nice to have the search inside feature, because then I could find out if it was deja vu, or jamais vu, or presque vu. Instead, I've transcribed an outline/favorite quotes in the extended entry. I'll give my usual disclaimer, which is: if you haven't read the book, read no further, it won't be interesting to you. I can't even guarantee that any part of this entry is interesting to those that have read the entry.

pg. 39 (Doc Daneeka)

     "Do you now 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."
     "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 unooked 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
time down?" Dunbar was almost angry when he finished.
     "Well, maybe it is true," Clevinger conded 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?"

pg. 46

     There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified
that a concern for one's own 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
pg. 58 (Hungry Joe)

     "But Twenty-seventh Air Force says I can go home with forty
     "But they don't say you have to go home.  And regulations do say
you have to obey every order.  That's the catch.  Even if the colonel
was disobeying a Twenty-seveth Air Force order by making you fly more
missions, you'd still have to fly them, or you'd be guilty of
disobeying an order of his.  And then Twenty-seventh Air Force
Headquarters would really jump on you."

pg. 82 (Major Major Major Major)

"Major Major had been born too late and too mediocre.  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.
Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a
man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him
were always impressed by how unimpressive he was."

pg. 83

A lesser man might have wavered that day in the hospital corridor, a
weaker man might have compromised on such excellent substitutes as
Drum Major, Minor Major, Sergeant Major, or C. Sharp Major, but Major
Major's father had waited fourteen years for just such an opportunity,
and he was not a person to waste it.

pg. 85

Actually, Major Major had been promoted by an I.B.M Machine with a
sense of humor almost as keen as his father's.

pg. 97-98

     "From now on," he said, "I don't want anyone to come in to see me
while I'm here.  Is that clear?"
     "Yes, sir," said Sergeant Towser.  "Does that include me?"
     "I see.  Will that be all."
     "What shall I say to the people who do come to see you while
you're here?"
     "Tell them I'm in and ask them to wait."
     "Yes, sir.  For how long?"
     "Until I've left."
     "And then what shall I do with them?"
     "I don't care."
     "May I send them in to see you after you've left?"
     "But you won't be here then, will you?"
     "Yes, sir.  Will that be all?"
     "Yes, sir."     
     "From now on," Major Major said to the middle-aged enlisted man
who took care of his trailer, "I don't want you to come here while I'm
here to ask me if there's anything you can do for me.  It that clear?"
     "Yes, sir," said the orderly.  "When should I come here to find
out if there's anything you want me to do for you?"
     "When I'm not here."
     "Yes, sir.  And what should I do?"
     "Whatever I tell you to."
     "But you won't be here to tell me.  Will you?"
     "Then what should I do?"
     "Whatever has to be done."
     "Yes, sir"
     "That will be all," said Major Major.

pg. 118 (Bologna)

Yossarian moves the bomb-line:

     "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

pg. 123

Yossarian has Corporal Snark put laundry soap in the sweet potatoes to
delay Bologna.

Lepage gun:

     "What Lepage gun?" Colonel Korn inquired with curiosity?
     "The new three-hundred-and-forty-four-millimeter Lepage glue
gun," Yossarian answered.  "It glues a whole formation of planes
together in mid-air."

pg. 124

Chief White Halfoat steals Captain Black's car

pg. 126

     "You know, that don't sound like such a bad idea," Chief White
Halfoat reflected.  "I think I will die of pneumonia."

     "And turn off the headlights.  That's the only way to do it."

pg. 132 (Major ----- de Coverley)

Yossarian was in love with the maid in the lime-colored panties
because she seemed to be the only woman left he could make love to
without falling in love with.

pg. 137

Yossarian gets a medal for going around twice at Ferrara

pg. 145

Bombing of Bologna

pg. 166 (The Soldier in White)

Schroedinger's cat:

Now that Yossarian looked back, it seemed that Nurse Cramer, rather
than the talkative Texan, had murdered the soldier in white; if she
had not read the thermometer and reported what she had found, the
soldier in white might still be lying there alive exactly as he had
been lying there all along, encased from head to toe in plaster and
gauze with both strange, rigid legs elevated from the hips and both
strange arms strung up perpendicularly, all four bulky limbs in casts,
all four strange, useless limbs hoisted up in the air by taut wire
cables and fantastically long lead weights suspended darkly above him.

pg. 169

     "That's what I mean," the warrant officer with malaria continued.
"Why him? There just doesn't seem to be any logic to this system of
rewards and punishments.  Look what happened to me.  If I had gotten
syphillis or a dose of clap for my five minutes of passion on the
beach instead of this damned mosquito bite, I could see some justice.
But malaria?  Malaraia? Who can explain malaria as a consequence of
fornication?" The warrant officer shook his head in dumb astonishment.

     "That sounds like my dose of the clap, all right," the warrant
officer agreeed.  "But I've still got someone else's malaria..."
pg. 170

There were too many dangers for Yossarian to keep track of.  There was
Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo, for example, and they were all out to kill
him.  There was Lieutenant Scheisskopf with his fanaticism for parades
and there was the bloated colonel with his big fat mustache and his
fanaticism for retribution, and they wanted to kill him, too.  There
was Appleby, Havermeyer, Black and Korn.  There was Nurse Cramer and
Nurse Duckett, who he was almost certain wanted him dead, and there
was the Texan and the C.I.D. man, about whom he had no doubt.  There
were bartenders, brick-layers and bus conductors all over the world
who wanted him dead, landlords and tenants, traitors and patriots,
lynchers, leeches and lackeys, and they were all out to bump him off.
That was the secret Snowden had spilled to him on the mission to
Avignon -- there were out to get him; and Snowden had spilled it all
over the back of the plane.

pg. 202 (Corporal Whitcomb)

...Deja vu.  The subtle, recurring confusion between illusion and
reality that was characteristic of paramnesia fascinated the chaplain,
and he knew a number of things about it.  He knew, for example, that
it was called paramnesia, and he was interested as well in such
corollary optical phenomena as jamais vu, never seen, and presque vu,
almost seen.  There were terrifying, sudden moment when objects,
concepts and even people that the chaplain had lived with almost all
of his life inexplicably took on an unfamiliar and irregular aspect
that he had never seen before and which made them seem totally
strange: jamais vu.  And there were moments when he almost saw
absolute truth in brilliant flashes of clarity that almost came to
him: preque vu.  The episode of the naked man in the tree at Snowden's
funeral mystified him throughly.  It was not deja vu, or at the time
he had experienced no sensation of ever having seen a naked man in a
tree at Snowden's funeral before.  It was not jamais vu, since the
apparition was not of someone, or something, familiar appearing to him
in an unfamiliar guise.  And it was certainly not presque vu, for the
chaplain did see him.

pg. 207 (General Dreedle)

The colonel sat back when he had finished and was extremely pleased
with himself for the prompt action he had just taken to meet this
sinister crisis.  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.  It was an odious, alien, distasteful name, a name that
just did not inspire confidence.

pg. 209

Cathcart's list:

Black eyes!!!
     Ferrara     Yossarian!
     Bologna (bomb line moved on map during)     ?
     Skeet range
     Naked man in formation (after Avignon)     Yossarian!1`
     Food poisoning (during Bologna)     ?
     Moaning (epidemic of during Avignon briefing)
     Chaplain (hanging around officer' club every night)

Feathers in My Cap!!! !!
     Chaplain (hanging around officer' club every night)

pg. 214

Yossarian stands in formation naked to receive Distinguished Flying

pg. 217

Yossarian starts moaning at Avignon briefing

pg. 222 (Milo the Mayor)

Dobbs wants Yossarian to help him kill Cathcart by telling him to.

pg. 227

Milo explains how he buys eggs for seven cents and sells them for

     "Because I'm the people I buy them from," Milo explained. "I make
a profit of three and a quater cent apiece when I sell them to me and
a profit of two and three qurter cents apiece when I buy them back
from me.  That's a total profit of six cents an egg.  I lose only two
cents and egg when I sell them to the mess halls at five cents apiece,
and that's how I can make a profit buying eggs for seven cents apiece
at the hen when I buy them in Sicily."

pg. 240 (Nately's Old Man)

     "You put so much stock in winning wars," the grubby iniquitous
old man scoffed.  "The real trick lies in losing wars, in knowing
which wars can be lost.  Italy has been losing wars for centuries, and
just see how splendidly we've done nonetheless.  France wins wars and
is in a continual state of crisis.  Germany loses and prospers.  Look
at our own recent history.  Italy won a war in Ethiopia and promptly
stumbled into serious trouble.  Victory gave us such insane delusions
of grandeur that we helped start a world war we hadn't a chance of
winning.  But now that we are losing again, everything has taken a
turn for the better, and we will certainly come out on top again if we
succeed in being defeated."

pg. 243

Nately's mother, a descendant of the New England Thornton's, was a
Daughter of the American Revolution.  His father was a Son of a Bitch.

pg. 250 (Milo)

Milo accepts payment from the Americans to bomb a bridge, payment from
the Germans to defend the bridge.

pg. 252

Milo bombs the Pianosa base for the Germans

pg. 262 (The Chaplain)

In a world which success was the only virtue, he had resigned himself
to failure.  He was painfully aware that he lacked the ecclesiastical
aplomb and savoir-faire that enabled so many of his colleagues in
other faiths and sects to get ahead."

pg. 316 (Peckem)

General Peckem laughed benignly, "No, Scheisskopf.  Dreedle's on our
side, and Dreedle is the enemy.  General Dreedle commands four bomb
groups that we simply must capture in order to continue our

pg. 317

     "Parades," answered Colonel Scheisskopf eagerly.  "Will I be able
to send out memos about parades?"

     "As long as you don't schedule any." General Peckem returned to
his chair still wearing a frown. "And as long as they don't interfere
with your main assignment of recommending that the authority of
Special Services be expanded to include combat activities."
     "Can I schedule parades and then call them off?"

     General Peckem brigtened instantly. "Why, that's a wonderful
idea!  But just send out weekly announcements postponing the parades.
Don't even bother to schedule them.  That would be infinitely more
disconcerting." General Peckem was blossoming spryly with cordiality
again. "Yes, Scheisskopf," he said, "I think you've really hit on
something.  After all, what combat commander could possibly quarrel
with us for notifying his men that there won't be a parade that coming
Sunday?  We'd be merely stating a widely known fact.  But the
implication is beautiful.  Yes, positively beautiful.  We're implying
that we could schedule a parade if we chose to.  I'm going to like
you, Scheisskopf..."

pg. 331

McWatt slices Kid Sampson in half with is airplane prop

pg. 335 (Mrs. Daneeka)

Doc Daneeka is pronounced dead

pg. 345 (Nately's Whore)

Nately's whore is rescued from the officers:
     "Oh, no, Bill," answered the general with a sigh.  "You may be a
wizard at directing a pincer movement in good weather on level terrain
against an enemy that has already committed his reserves, but you
don't always think so clearly anywhere else.  Why should we want to
keep her?"

pg. 356

     The chaplain had sinned, and it was good.  Common sense told him
that telling lies and defecting from duty were sins.  On the other
hand, everyone knew that sin was evil and that no good could come from
evil.  But he did feel good; he felt positively marvelous.
Consequently, it followed logically that telling lies and defecting
from duty could not be sins.  The chaplain had mastered, in a moment
of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective
rationalization, and he was exhilarated by his discovery.  It was
miraculous.  It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into
virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance
into humility, plunder into pilanthropy, thievery into honor,
blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into
justice.  Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all.  It
merely required no character...

pg. 360

Dunbar gets disappeared

pg. 361 (Milo the Militant)

Chief White Halfoat dies of pneumonia

pg. 369 

Dobbs and Nately's planes crash over La Spezia

pg. 398 (The Eternal City)

"Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them
from doing."

pg. 413 (Catch-22)

     "Won't you fight for your country?" Colonel Korn demanded,
emulating Colonel Cathcart's harsh, self-righteous tone. "Won't you
give your life for Colonel Cathcart and me?"
     Yossarian tensed with alert astonishment when he heard Colonel
Korn's concluding words. "What that?" he exclaimed. "What have you and
Colonel Cathcart got to do with my country? You're not the same."
     "That's right," Colonel Cathcart cried emphatically. "You're
either for us or against us.  There's no two ways about it."
     "I'm afraid he's got you," added Colonel Korn. "You're either for
us or against your country.  It's as simple as that."
     "Oh, no, Colonel.  I don't buy that."
     Colonel Korn was unruffled. "Neither do I, frankly, but everyone
else will.  So there you are."

pg. 430

Snowden dies and spills his secret:

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 othe rkinds of
garbage.  The spirit gone, man is garbage.  That was Snowden's secret.
Ripeness was all.

pg. 438 (Yossarian)

Chaplain tells Yossarian that Orr is in Sweden


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