Joseph Heller (May 01, 1923 - December 12, 1999)
Born: 1st May, 1923
Died: 12th December, 1999
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Novelist
Region: New York City, New York, East Hampton
Notable works: "Catch-22", "Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man", "Closing Time"

Joseph Heller Facts

Biography

Joseph Heller, (born May 1, 1923, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.--died December 12, 1999, East Hampton, New York), American writer whose novel Catch-22 (1961) was one of the most significant works of protest literature to appear after World War II. The satirical novel was a popular success, and a film version appeared in 1970.

During World War II, Heller flew 60 combat missions as a bombardier with the U.S. Air Force in Europe. After receiving an M.A. at Columbia University in 1949, he studied at the University of Oxford (1949-50) as a Fulbright scholar. He taught English at Pennsylvania State University (1950-52) and worked as an advertising copywriter for the magazines Time (1952-56) and Look (1956-58) and as promotion manager for McCall's (1958-61), meanwhile writing Catch-22 in his spare time.

Released to mixed reviews, Catch-22 developed a cult following with its dark surrealism. Centring on the antihero Captain John Yossarian, stationed at an airstrip on a Mediterranean island during World War II, the novel portrays the airman's desperate attempts to stay alive. The "catch" in Catch-22 involves a mysterious Air Force regulation that asserts that a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions but, if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. The term catch-22 thereafter entered the English language as a reference to a proviso that trips one up no matter which way one turns.

Heller's later novels, including Something Happened (1974), an unrelievedly pessimistic novel, Good as Gold (1979), a satire on life in Washington, D.C., and God Knows (1984), a wry, contemporary-vernacular monologue in the voice of the biblical King David, were less successful. Closing Time, a sequel to Catch-22, appeared in 1994. His final novel, Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man (2000), was published posthumously, as was Catch As Catch Can: The Collected Stories and Other Writings (2003). Heller also wrote an autobiography, Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here (1998), and his dramatic work includes the play We Bombed in New Haven (1968).

Joseph Heller essays

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The American Panorama of Materials Essay
The authors T. D Salinger and Frederick Heller have formulated novels that depict the American surroundings based on heart, culture, id and ideals. American heart is described through rebellion in the two novels. M. D Salinger captures rebellion through Holden's refusal to select the flow of world, and Paul Heller displays rebellion employing Yossarian for capturing rebellion by his beliefs that it is better to survive then simply fight in a war while most Americans uphold the belief that costly honor to sacrifice one self for one's country. The essence of American culture is definitely..
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