Quotations by Heller, Joseph


“From now on I’m thinking only of me.”

Major Danby replied indulgently with a superior smile: “But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way?”

“Then,” said Yossarian, “I’d certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn’t I?”

Joseph Heller (1923-1999) American novelist
Catch-22 (1961)
Added on 13-Jul-09 | Last updated 13-Jul-09
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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.

Joseph Heller (1923-1999) American novelist
Catch-22 [Col. Korn] (1961)
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Added on 22-Jun-20 | Last updated 22-Jun-20
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There was only one catch, and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be gorunded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to, but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to.

Joseph Heller (1923-1999) American novelist
Catch-22, ch. 5 (1961)
Added on 1-Sep-11 | Last updated 1-Sep-11
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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 (1923-1999) American novelist
God Knows (1984)
Added on 18-Aug-09 | Last updated 18-Aug-09
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Whether God is dead or not hardly matters, for we would use him no differently anyway.

Joseph Heller (1923-1999) American novelist
God Knows (1984)
Added on 26-Aug-09 | Last updated 26-Aug-09
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Gold was opposed to segregation and equally opposed to integration. Certainly he did not believe that women or homosexuals should suffer persecution or discrimination. On the other hand, he was privately opposed to all equal rights amendments, for he certainly did not want members of either group associating with him on levels of equality or familiarity.

Joseph Heller (1923-1999) American novelist
Good as Gold (1976)
Added on 7-Jul-09 | Last updated 7-Jul-09
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Both [success and failure] are difficult to endure. Along with success come drugs, divorce, fornication, bullying, travel, medication, depression, neurosis and suicide. With failure comes failure.

Joseph Heller (1923-1999) American novelist
Interview with Sam Merrill (Playboy) (1975)

Reprinted in Conversations with Joseph Heller (1993); full text.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 18-Jun-09
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