Joseph Heller Quotes

Most popular Joseph Heller Quotes

Insanity is contagious.

insanity

When I grow up I want to be a little boy.
— Joseph Heller

growing up

My only fault ... is that I have no faults.

shortcomings

He knew everything about literature except how to enjoy it.

literature

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

success

We do have a zeal for laughter in most situations, give or take a dentist.
— Joseph Heller

laughter

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

war enemies

Kissinger brought peace to Vietnam the same way Napoleon brought peace to Europe: by losing.
While none of the work we do is very important, it is important that we do a great deal of it.

work

I'd like to see the government get out of war altogether and leave the whole field to private industry.

war

The Texan turned out to be good-natured, generous, and likable.  In three days, no one could stand him.
When I read something saying I've not done anything as good as Catch-22, I'm tempted to reply, "Who has?"
There was no telling what people might find out once they felt free to ask whatever questions they wanted to.

asking questions

Frankly, I'd like to see the government get out of war altogether and leave the whole field to private industry.
— Joseph Heller

capitalism

He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt, and his only mission each time he went up was to come down alive.
Prostitution gives her an opportunity to meet people.  It provides fresh air and wholesome exercise, and it keeps her out of trouble.
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.
Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some have mediocrity thrust upon them.  With Major Major it had been all three.

mediocrity

But that was war. Just about all he could find in its favor was that it paid well and liberated children from the pernicious influence of their parents.
— Joseph Heller

war

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?

God

Doc Daneeka hated to fly. He felt imprisoned in an airplane. In an airplane there was absolutely no place in the world to go except to another part of the airplane.
— Joseph Heller

flying

Everyone in my book accuses everyone else of being crazy. Frankly, I think the whole society is nuts—and the question is: What does a sane man do in an insane society?
— Joseph Heller

society

I don't understand the process of imagination—though I know that I am very much at its mercy. I feel that these ideas are floating around in the air and they pick me to settle upon.
— Joseph Heller

imagination creativity

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind.
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. 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

insanity