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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Closing Time - Joseph Heller

These are a few epiphanetic  (love making up words) sentences from what I thought was as good an attempt at a sequel to Catch 22 as could be. Given the dark-as-death humour of C22, it was imperative that Heller would seek to carry forward in a similar vein. Closing Time is a scathe across the Western economic situation as well. Quotes (only spoken sentences are double-quoted):

" you think in my checkered history I ever really wanted to do any of the work I found myself doing?"

Money does matter, more than almost everything else. 

 Almost everything in nature, from the smallest to the grandest, seemed to him to move in circles and to return to the point at which it had originated, to perhaps set out again. 

Splenetic (referring to Charles Dickens)

Doctor Faustus - Thomas Mann
Apocalypse - Adrian Leverkühn

Triage (the game that is only too real in this book by the end - closing time, literally)

(It takes a fertile imagination to have the chaplain passing heavy water. Hilarious.)

"...but sometimes there is more money in this world than anybody ever thought the planet could hold without sinking away into somewhere else."

"It's easy to win debates as a nihilist...because so many people who ought to know better absurdly take positions."

He (Michael Yossarian) did not envy people who wished to work much harder to get much more, but had to wonder afresh why he was not like them. 

Joey Heller

(Allegory between Dante's Divine Comedy - specifically Inferno - and PABT. At the end of the book I saw that this chapter is mentioned in the acknowledgements.)

"...Years later I read where Camus said that the only freedom we have is the freedom to say no. ..."

(Milo Minderbinder can't, he sheepishly admits, destroy the world, but he can make it inhabitable.)

(Book Seven passed without much epiphania :) )

...blessings of living alone.
Opinions - lack of

Whatever can change, will; and anything that doesn't change, can't. 

And in several more seconds that failing broadcast signal faded out too until there survived only in a primeval void of human silence the insistent sibilance of that simmering and irrepressible electrical interference. 

William Saroyan
Eugene O'Neill
Tennessee Williams
James Joyce
Joseph Conrad
Jerzy Kosinski
V Woolf
Arthur Koestler
Gustav Aschenbach

(A little further Marilyn Monroe is seen, "restored in every detail to lifelike death.")

"Everything that's alive lives on things that are living..."
"...everything living is made up of things that are not."

Dennis Teemer could look at civilization, he liked to joke in pessimistic paradox, and see the world as just a microcosm of a cell. 

To live or not to live...

But he (a spokesman for the homeless) turned out to be fake, a spokesman from a public relations firm. 

Fricassee de Fruits de Mer
Les trois Rôti Primeurs (my very own Indian roti! :D )
Tarte aux Pommes de Terre
Salade à Bleu de Bresse Gratinée
Friandises et Desserts

What was wrong between them was that nothing between them had ever gone wrong. 

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