Saturday, December 3, 2011

January 27, 2012 -- Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Friday, January 27, 2012, 7:00 PM
Kansas City Public Library/Plaza Branch
4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
We meet in the small meeting room.
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller was published 50 years ago which makes it eligible for selection by our group. This is the most recently published book that our group has ever read and discussed.

Eleven people attend our meeting on January 27. It was a robust discussion from a group bubbling over with comments and opinions. If you missed this one, you missed a good one. Those in attendance included Marc, Bernie, Tim, Karen, James, John, Bo, Paul, Tim, Jan, and Clif.


Clif Hostetler said...

Ever wonder about the title of Catch-22?
The opening chapter of the novel was originally published in New World Writing as Catch-18 in 1955 but Heller's agent, Candida Donadio, requested that he change the title of the novel so it would not be confused with another recently published World War II novel, Leon Uris's Mila 18. The number 18 has special meaning in Judaism (it means Alive in Gematria) and was relevant to early drafts of the novel which had a somewhat greater Jewish emphasis.
The title Catch-11 was suggested, with the duplicated 1 paralleling the repetition found in a number of character exchanges in the novel but because of the release of the 1960 movie Ocean's Eleven this was also rejected. Catch-17 was rejected so as not to be confused with the World War II film Stalag 17, as well as Catch-14, apparently because the publisher did not feel that 14 was a "funny number". Eventually the title came to be Catch-22 which like 11, has a duplicated digit, with the 2 also referring to a number of déjà vu-like events common in the novel.

Clif Hostetler said...

Lecture 21 of this collection of lectures is about Catch 22.

Clif Hostetler said...

One trivial detail in "Catch 22" missed by most readers is that the chaplain says he's Anabaptist. He also identified himself as Anabaptist in the movie too. As I recall the movie scene, a General (or some big shot) asks the chaplain if he's Catholic or Protestant and he answers that he's Anabaptist. I was the only person in the theater who laughed out loud. I'm sure everybody else in the theater was wondering what was so funny.

Clif Hostetler said...

The following is copied from the PageADay's Book Lover's Calendar of this year. I think it was from the second week in November.

Catch-22 was written about World War II, but to students in the ’60s it was about the Vietnam War. How does Heller’s brilliant, bloody satire of the “logic” of war hold up in the 21st century for the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War? Today is the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication. We invite you to spend some time with Yossarian, Milo Minderbinder, Colonel Cathcart, and, of course, Snowden and his secret. The Modern Library ranked Catch-22 number seven in its list of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th century.
CATCH-22, by Joseph Heller (1961; Simon & Schuster, 1996)

Clif Hostetler said...

I think these quizzes about "Catch 22" are fun. (There's a cartoon time keeper and scorer to add pressure.)

What the Heller’s Going On Here? Quiz

Quotation Quiz

Themes Quiz

Symbols Quiz

Clif Hostetler said...

Link to my review of Catch-22.