Best 219 of Joseph Heller quotes - MyQuotes

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Joseph Heller
By Anonym 16 Sep

Joseph Heller

His heart cracked, and he fell in love. He wondered if she would marry him. “Tu sei pazzo,” she told him with a pleasant laugh. “Why am I crazy?” he asked. “Perché non posso sposare.” “Why can’t you get married?” “Because I am not a virgin,” she answered. “What has that got to do with it?” “Who will marry me? No one wants a girl who is not a virgin.” “I will. I’ll marry you.” “Ma non posso sposarti.” “Why can’t you marry me?” “Perché sei pazzo.” “Why am I crazy?” “Perché vuoi sposarmi.” Yossarian wrinkled his forehead with quizzical amusement. “You won’t marry me because I’m crazy, and you say I’m crazy because I want to marry you? Is that right?” “Si.” “Tu sei pazz’!” he told her loudly. “Perché?” she shouted back at him indignantly, her unavoidable round breasts rising and falling in a saucy huff beneath the pink chemise as she sat up in bed indignantly. “Why am I crazy?” “Because you won’t marry me.” “Stupido!” she shouted back at him, and smacked him loudly and flamboyantly on the chest with the back of her hand. “Non posso sposarti! Non capisci? Non posso sposarti.” “Oh, sure, I understand. And why can’t you marry me?” “Perché sei pazzo!” “And why am I crazy?” “Perché vuoi sposarmi.” “Because I want to marry you. Carina, ti amo,” he explained, and he drew her gently back down to the pillow. “Ti amo molto.” “Tu sei pazzo,” she murmured in reply, flattered. “Perché?” “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.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Joseph Heller

Hungry Joe was crazy, and no one knew it better than Yossarian, who did everything he could to help him. Hungry Joe just wouldn’t listen to Yossarian. Hungry Joe just wouldn’t listen because he thought Yossarian was crazy

By Anonym 19 Sep

Joseph Heller

The spirit gone, man is garbage.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

Yossarian was cold, too, and shivering uncontrollably. He felt goose pimples clacking all over him as he gazed down despondently at the grim secret Snowden had spilled all over the messy floor. 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 other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden's secret. Ripeness was all. I'm cold,' Snowden said. 'I'm cold.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

After he made up his mind to spend the rest of the war in the hospital, Yossarian wrote letters to everyone he knew saying that he was in the hospital but never mentioning why. One day he had a better idea. To everyone he knew he wrote that he was going on a very dangerous mission. "They asked for volunteers. It's very dangerous, but someone has to do it. I'll write you the instant I get back." And he had not written anyone since.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

The Lord gave us farmers two strong hands so we could grab as much as we could with both of them.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Joseph Heller

Four times during the first six days they were assembled and briefed and then sent back. Once, they took off and were flying in formation when the control tower summoned them down. The more it rained, the worse they suffered. The worse they suffered, the more they prayed that it would continue raining. All through the night, men looked at the sky and were saddened by the stars. All through the day, they looked at the bomb line on the big, wobbling easel map of Italy that blew over in the wind and was dragged in under the awning of the intelligence tent every time the rain began. The bomb line was a scarlet band of narrow satin ribbon that delineated the forward most position of the Allied ground forces in every sector of the Italian mainland. For hours they stared relentlessly at the scarlet ribbon on the map and hated it because it would not move up high enough to encompass the city. When night fell, they congregated in the darkness with flashlights, continuing their macabre vigil at the bomb line in brooding entreaty as though hoping to move the ribbon up by the collective weight of their sullen prayers. "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 Bologna.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

Gold was not sure of many things, but he was definite about one: for every successful person he knew, he could name at least two others of greater ability, better, and higher intelligence who, by comparison, had failed.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

When you consider the opportunity and power He had to really do a job, and then look at the stupid, ugly little mess He made of it instead, His sheer incompetence is almost staggering.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

I am miracle ingredient Z-247. I'm immense. I'm a real, slam-bang, honest-to-goodness, three-fisted humdinger. I'm a bona fide supraman.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Joseph Heller

He was pinched perspinngly in the epistemological dilemma of the skeptic, unable to accept solutions to problems he was unwilling to dismiss as unsolvable. He was never without misery, and never without hope.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Joseph Heller

They were frisky, eager and exuberant, and they had all been friends in the States. They were plainly unthinkable. They were noisy, overconfident, empty-headed kids of twenty-one. They had gone to college and were engaged to pretty, clean girls whose pictures were already standing on the rough cement mantelpiece of Orr's fireplace. They had ridden in speedboats and played tennis. They had been horseback riding. One had once been to bed with an older woman. They knew the same poeple in different parts of the country and had gone to school with each other's cousins.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

where are the snowdens of yesteryear?

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

I couldn't see much point in tying myself down to a middle-aged woman with four children, even though the woman was my wife and the children were my own.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Joseph Heller

There were usually not nearly as many sick people inside the hospital as Yossarian saw outside the hospital, and there were generally fewer people inside the hospital who were seriously sick. There was a much lower death rate inside the hospital than outside the hospital, and a much healthier death rate. Few people died unnecessarily. People knew a lot more about dying inside the hospital and made a much neater job of it. They couldn’t dominate Death inside the hospital, but they certainly made her behave. They had taught her manners. They couldn’t keep Death out, but while she was there she had to act like a lady. People gave up the ghost with delicacy and taste inside the hospital. There was none of that crude, ugly ostentation about dying that was so common outside of the hospital. They did not blow-up in mid-air like Kraft or the dead man in Yossarian’s tent, or freeze to death in the blazing summertime the way Snowden had frozen to death after spilling his secret to Yossarian in the back of the plane. “I’m cold,” Snowden had whimpered. “I’m cold.” “There, there,” Yossarian had tried to comfort him. “There, there.” They didn’t take it on the lam weirdly inside a cloud the way Clevinger had done. They didn’t explode into blood and clotted matter. They didn’t drown or get struck by lightning, mangled by machinery or crushed in landslides. They didn’t get shot to death in hold-ups, strangled to death in rapes, stabbed to death in saloons, blugeoned to death with axes by parents or children, or die summarily by some other act of God. Nobody choked to death. People bled to death like gentlemen in an operating room or expired without comment in an oxygen tent. There was none of that tricky now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t business so much in vogue outside the hospital, none of that now-I-am-and-now-I-ain’t. There were no famines or floods. Children didn’t suffocate in cradles or iceboxes or fall under trucks. No one was beaten to death. People didn’t stick their heads into ovens with the gas on, jump in front of subway trains or come plummeting like dead weights out of hotel windows with a whoosh!, accelerating at the rate of thirty-two feet per second to land with a hideous plop! on the sidewalk and die disgustingly there in public like an alpaca sack full of hairy strawberry ice cream, bleeding, pink toes awry.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

I'll tell you what justice is. Justice is a knee in the gut from the floor on the chin at night sneaky with a knife brought up down on the magazine of a battleship sandbagged underhanded in the dark without a word of warning

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

Yossarian decided to change the subject. "Now you're changing the subject." he pointed out diplomatically. "I'll bet I can name two things to be miserable about for every one you can name to be thankful for.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Joseph Heller

Group headquarters was alarmed, for there is no telling what people might find out once they felt felt free to ask whatever questions they wanted to. Colonel Cathcart sent Colonel Korn to stop it, and Colonel Korn succeeded with a rule governing the asking of questions. Colonel Korn's rule was a stroke of genius, Colonel Korn explained in his report to Colonel Cathcart. Under Colonel Corn's rule the only people permitted to ask questions were those who never did. Soon the only people attending [sessions] were those who never asked questions, and the sessions were discontinued altogether, since Clevinger, the corporal and Colonel Korn agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

But the God I don't believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He's not the mean and stupid God you make him out to be.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Joseph Heller

This makes my boredom worse. It’s a real problem to decide whether it’s more boring to do something boring than to pass along everything boring that comes in to somebody else and then have nothing to do at all.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Joseph Heller

It takes brains not to make money,” Colonel Cargill wrote in one of the homiletic memoranda he regularly prepared for circulation over General Peckem’s signature. “Any fool can make money these days and most of them do. But what about people with talent and brains? Name, for example, one poet who makes money.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Joseph Heller

That men would die was a matter of necessity; which men would die, though, was a matter of circumstance, and Yossarian was willing to be the victim of anything but circumstance.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

He knew everything about literature except how to enjoy it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

There was no telling what people might find out once they felt free to ask whatever questions they wanted to.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

I’m cold,' Snowden said softly, 'I’m cold.' 'You’re going to be all right, kid,' Yossarian reassured him with a grin. 'You’re going to be all right.' 'I’m cold,' Snowden said again in a frail, childlike voice. 'I’m cold.' 'There, there,' Yossarian said, because he did not know what else to say. 'There, there.' 'I’m cold,' Snowden whimpered. 'I’m cold.' 'There, there. There, there.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Joseph Heller

...You know, one good apple can spoil the rest,” Colonel Korn concluded with conscious irony.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

"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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

I had examined myself pretty thoroughly and discovered that I was unfit for military service.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

How did I get here? Somebody pushed me. Somebody must have set me off in this direction and clus-ters of other hands must have touched themselves to the controls at various times, for I would not have picked this way for the world.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Joseph Heller

I want to keep my dreams, even bad ones, because without them, I might have nothing all night long.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Joseph Heller

The important thing is to keep them pledging," he explained to his cohorts. "It doesn't matter whether they mean it or not. That's why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what 'pledge' and 'allegiance' mean.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Joseph Heller

Remember that everyone deserves some fun during working hours.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Joseph Heller

In the office in which I work there are five people of whom I am afraid. Each of these five people is afraid of four people (excluding overlaps), for a total of twenty, and each of these twenty people is afraid of six people, making a total of one hundred and twenty people who are feared by at least one person. Each of these one hundred and twenty people is afraid of the other one hundred and nineteen, and all of these one hundred and forty-five people are afraid of the twelve men at the top who helped found and build the company and now own and direct it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

Being born with a sickly resemblance to Henry Fonda was the first of a long series of practical jokes of which destiny was to make Major Major the unhappy victim throughout his joyless life. Being born Major Major Major was the second

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

What do you do when it rains?" The captain answered frankly. "I get wet.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

I can't start writing until I have a closing line.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Joseph Heller

She was the epitome of stately sorrow each time she smiled.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Joseph Heller

General Peckem even recommends that we send our men into combat in full-dress uniform so they'll make a good impression on the enemy when they're shot down".

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

Erogenous zones are either everywhere or nowhere.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Joseph Heller

That goddam stunted, red-faced, big-cheeked, apple-cheeked, curlyheaded, midget assed, , google-eyed, undersized, grinning, buck-toothed rat!!" Yossarian sputtered. ~ Catch-22

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

He was sick with lust and mesmerized with regret

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

But Yossarian knew he was right, because, as he explained to Clevinger, to the best of his knowledge he had never been wrong.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Joseph Heller

Something did happen to me somewhere that robbed me of confidence and courage and left me with a fear of discovery and change and a positive dread of everything unknown that may occur.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Joseph Heller

I don't think it's good to achieve too much at too early an age. What else can the future give you if you've already got all that your imagination has dreamt up for you? A writer is only discovered once in a lifetime, and if it happens very early the impossibility of matching that moment again can have a somewhat corrosive effect on his personality and indeed on the work itself.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

When people disagreed with him he urged them to be objective.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Joseph Heller

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Joseph Heller

It's a wise person, I guess, who knows he's dumb, and an honest person who knows he's a liar. And it's a dumb person, I guess, whose convinced he's wise...-Bob Slocum

By Anonym 15 Sep

Joseph Heller

Under Colonel Korn's rule, the only people permitted to ask questions were those who never did.