Sunday, June 15, 2008

Act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That's a trick that never seems to fail

I had to explain the concept of a 'catch-22 situation' to someone the other day (and wishing that I could devise such a rule for my own benefit), I was reminded just how much I love this book. So I thought I that I would post Yossarian's full explanation on the blog. So I have:

"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 to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle."

"That's some catch, that catch-22," he observed.

"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka replied.

If you haven't already, give it a go. And then read the sequel.


Sue said...

Catch-22 was my absolute favourite book as a teenager. I wonder if I read it again whether I would still love it as much or perhaps even appreciate it more...or sadly, not like it at all now. Maybe I will find the time to read it again during the next school holidays.
I may read the sequel as well...I wasn't aware that there was one.

Kris McCracken said...

Closing Time it is called, and was released in 1994. I got a hardcover copy on special for a discounted four bucks, and I am still gloating!

It got a bit of a pasting when it was released (I think), but I found it is well worth it. Quite a bit more downbeat than the original, but there is plenty to keep you thinking.