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Joseph Heller and paradox: a few more quotes

The Texan turned out to be good-natured, generous and likeable. In three days no one could stand him.

“Open your eyes, Clevinger. It doesn’t make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who’s dead.”
Clevinger was dead. That was the basic flaw in his philosophy.

He knew everything about literature except how to enjoy it.

He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.

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

Rise above principal and do what’s right.

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

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

Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three.

The case against Clevinger was open and shut. The only thing missing was something to charge him with.

You know, that might be the answer – to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That’s a trick that never seems to fail.

How much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements?

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.
Joseph Heller, Catch 22

I do know that girls in their early twenties are easy and sweet. (Girls in their late twenties are easier but sad, and that isn’t so sweet.) They are easy, I think, because they are sweet, and they are sweet, I think, because they are dumb. (LOOOOLL)

I think I may have been the first grown man in the world to fall truly, passionately, sexually, romantically and sentimentally in love. I practically invented it.

The problem with the loneliness I suffer is that the company of others has never been a cure for it.

No one who ever wants praise will be satisfied with praise, the person who wants love cannot be satisfied with love. No want is ever fulfilled. And therefore I still don’t know whether it is better to fear God and keep His commandments or to curse God and die.

If the chance ever comes to you to fall in love, grab it, every time. You might always live to regret it, but you won’t find anything to beat it, and you won’t know if it will come to you once more.
Joseph Heller, God Knows

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