Joseph Heller Quotes

Joseph Heller Quotes

Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.

Every writer I know has trouble writing.

Just pass the work I assign along to somebody else and trust to luck. We call that delegation of responsibility.

I frequently feel I'm being taken advantage of merely because I'm asked to do the work I'm paid to do.

Why are they going to disappear him?'
I don't know.'
It doesn't make sense. It isn't even good grammar.

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

One had to know Plato personally to appreciate the love he suppressed puritanically for the music, poetry, and drama he censured in his philosophy and censored in his model communities. They moved him too deeply.

They couldn't keep Death out, but while she was in she had to act like a lady.

What the hell are you getting so upset about?" he asked her bewilderedly in a tone of contrite amusement. "I thought you didn't believe in God."

"I don't," she sobbed, bursting violently into tears. "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.

The captain was a good chess player, and the games were always interesting. Yossarian had stopped playing chess with him because the games were so interesting they were foolish.

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

Yossarian was moved by such intense pity for his poverty that he wanted to smash his pale. sad, sickly face with his fist and knock him out of existence

He wondered often how he would ever recognize the first chill, flush, twinge, ache, belch, sneeze, stain, lethargy, vocal slip, loss of balance or lapse of memory that would signal the inevitable beginning of the inevitable end.

The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.

It doesn't make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead.

Morale was deteriorating and it was all Yossarian's fault. The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them.

The enemy," retorted Yossarian with weighted precision, "is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on, and that includes Colonel Cathcart. And don't you forget that, because the longer you remember it, the longer you might live.

Major Major never sees anyone in his office while he's in his office.

-You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You're dangerous and depraved, and you ought to be taken outside and shot!

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.

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".

Homer begged and Rembrandt went bankrupt. Aristotle, who had money for books, his school, and his museum, could not have bought this painting of himself.
Rembrandt could not afford a Rembrandt.

Keep in mind that when we talk of a great painting we are not really talking about anything great. We are talking of only a painting.

Nately had a bad start. He came from a good family.

Someone had to do something sometime. Every victim was a culprit, every culprit a victim, and somebody had to stand up sometime to try to break the lousy chain of inherited habit that was imperiling them all.

The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them.

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.

Because he needed a friend so desperately, he never found one.

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