Joseph Heller

Joseph
Heller
1923
1999

American Novelist best known for Catch-22

Author Quotes

There is wisdom in madness and strong probability of truth in all accusations, for people are complete and everybody is capable of everything.

He who steals my purse steals trash, but he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed.

If character is destiny, the good are damned.

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?

The only wisdom I think I've attained is the wisdom to be skeptical of other people's ideology and other people's arguments. I tend to be a skeptic, I don't like dogmatic approaches by anybody. I don't like intolerance and a dogmatic person is intolerant of other people. It's one of the reasons I keep a distance from all religious beliefs. I think in this country and in Australia too there's a late intolerance in most religions, an intolerance, a part that could easily become persecutions.

There is no disappointment so numbing...as someone no better than you achieving more.

Mankind is resilient: the atrocities that horrified us a week ago become acceptable tomorrow

How many honest men were liars, brave men cowards, loyal men traitors, how many sainted men were corrupt, how many people in positions of trust had sold their souls to bodyguards, how many had never had souls? How many straight-and-narrow paths were crooked paths? How many best families were worst families and how many good people were bad people? When you added them all up and then subtracted, you might be left with only the children, and perhaps with Albert Einstein and an old violinist or sculptor somewhere.

Anything worth dying for... certainly worth living for.

Peace on earth would mean the end of civilization as we know it.z1b3Ae0CfN

Every writer I know has trouble writing.

Destiny is a good thing to accept when it's going your way. When it isn't, don't call it destiny; call it injustice, treachery, or simple bad luck.

When I grow up I want to be a little boy.

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

'You put stock in winning wars, 'the grubby iniquitous old man scoffed. 'The real trick lies in losing wars, and in knowing which wars can be lost. Italy has been losing wars for centuries, and just see how splendidly we've done nonetheless. France wins wars and is in a continual state of crisis. Germany loses and prospers. Look at our own recent history. Italy won a war in Ethiopia and promptly stumbled into serious trouble. Victory gave us such insane delusions of grandeur that we helped start a world war we hadn't a chance of winning. But now that we are losing again, everything has taken a turn for the better, and we will certainly come out on top again if we succeed in being defeated.'

We have become so democratic in our habits of thought that we are convinced that truth is determined through a plebiscite of facts.

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

Author Picture
First Name
Joseph
Last Name
Heller
Birth Date
1923
Death Date
1999
Bio

American Novelist best known for Catch-22