Joseph Heller Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 222 quotes)
He wanted to write urgent love letters to her all day long and crowd the endless pages with desperate, uninhibited confessions of his humble worship and need with careful instructions for administering artificial respiration. He wanted to pour out to her in torrents of self-pity all his unbearable loneliness and despair and warn her never to leave the boric acid or the aspirin in reach of the children or to cross a street against the traffic light. He did not wish to worry her.
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.
Kraft was a skinny, harmless kid from Pennsylvania who wanted only to be liked, and was destined to be disappointed in even so humble and degrading an ambition. Instead, of being liked, he was dead, a bleeding cinder on the barbarous pile whom nobody had heard in those last precious moments while the plane with one wing plummeted.
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.
I did it to protect my good reputation in case anyone ever caught me walking around with crab apples in my cheeks. With rubber balls in my hands I could deny there were crab apples in my cheeks. Everytime someone asked me why I was walking around with crab apples in my cheeks, I'd just open my hands and show them it was rubber balls I was walking around with, not crab apples, and that they were in my hands, not my cheeks. It was a good story, but I never knew if it got across or not, since its pretty hard to make people understand you when your talking to them with two crab apples in your cheeks.
Yossarian's attitude toward his roommates turned merciful and protective at the mere recollection of Captain Black. It was not their fault that they were young and cheerful, he reminded himself as he carried the swinging beam of his flashlight back through the darkness. He wished that he could be young and cheerful, too. And it wasn't their fault that they were courageous, confident and carefree. He would just have to be patient with them until one or two were killed and the rest wounded, and then they would all turn out okay.
Who will marry me? No one wants a girl who is not a virgin.""I will. I'll marry you.""Ma non posso sposarti." "And why can't you marry me?""Perche sei pazzo!""And why am I crazy?""Perche vuoi sposarmi.""Because I want to marry you. Carina, ti amo," he explained, and he drew her gently back down to the pillow. "Te amo molto.""Tu sei pazzo," she murmured in reply, flattered. "Perche?""Because you say you love me. How can you love a girl who is not a virgin?""Because I can't marry you."She bolted right up again in a threatening rage. "Why can't you marry me?" she demanded, ready to clout him again if he gave an uncomplimentary reply. "Just because I am not a virgin?""No, no darling. Because you're crazy.
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.
What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries, usually unnatural. Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war. Surely so many countries can't all be worth dying for.
That's some catch, that Catch-22,' he observed.'It's the best there is,' Doc Daneeka agreed.Yossarian saw it clearly in all its spinning reasonableness. There was an elliptical precision about its perfect pairs of parts that was graceful and shocking, like good modern art, and at times Yossarian wasn't quite sure that he saw it at all, just the way he was never quite sure about good modern ar?
What would they do to me," he asked in confidential tones, "if I refused to fly them?"We'd probably shoot you," ex-P. F. C. Wintergreen replied. We?" Yossarian cried in surprise. "What do you mean, we? Since when are you on their side?"If you're going to be shot, whose side do you expect me to be on?" ex-P. F. C. Wintergreen retorted