52 in 52 Week 42: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Continuing with the Week 42 "War and Pestilence" theme we have . . . 

catch–22 \-ˌtwen-tē-ˈtünoun
plural catch–22’s or catch–22s
often capitalized
[from Catch-22, paradoxical rule in the novel Catch-22 (1961) by Joseph Heller]
(1961)
1 a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule the show-business catch-22—no work unless you have an agent, no agent unless you’ve worked —Mary Murphyalso the circumstance or rule that denies a solution
2 a an illogical, unreasonable, or senseless situation
b a measure or policy whose effect is the opposite of what was intended
c a situation presenting two equally undesirable alternatives
3 a hidden difficulty or means of entrapment catch


 Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.  (10th ed.). 

This is the "Theater of the Absurd" with the backdrop being World War II.  It does not seem to be the place for humor, but Heller makes it funny, tragically so though. He has a point.

Heller manages to write a funny anti-war novel, pointing out the absurdity of war, government, bureaucracy, and even religion.  Heller is brilliant but also bawdy and obscene. I wouldn't recommend this to too many people. I see why it is so lauded, but I couldn't wait to be done. It was too obscene and irreverent for me. It was also written by a man who degrades women at every turn. They are just objects for man's lust and serve no other purpose in this novel. ICKY! Maybe he was pointing out the absurdity of that too, but I find that men like this book much more than women do. 

Regardless of my personal view, this book is indelibly marked into the fabric of our society with the term catch-22 defined above. 






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