November 10, 2010
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An avid reader, Mr. Patrick Imbardelli is especially fond of American satirist Joseph Heller. Born and raised in New York, Heller loved to write, even as a child. After graduating from high school, he held a number of jobs before enlisting with the United States Army Air Corps. During World War II, he flew on the Italian Front as a B-25 bombardier and completed 60 missions. Following his service, Heller studied English at the University of Southern California and New York University. He subsequently earned a graduate degree in English from Columbia University and then traveled to Oxford University as a Fulbright scholar. Heller later taught at Pennsylvania State University, worked for Time magazine, and then became a copywriter for a boutique advertising agency. Throughout his career, Heller continued to write profusely and published his first piece in The Atlantic in 1948. In 1953, Heller started writing his most popular work, Catch-22. New World Writing published the novel’s first chapter in 1955. Catch-22 was originally a novella, but as Heller continued to write, he realized that he had gathered enough material from his time in the Air Corps to turn the story into a novel. A publisher bought the book when it was only one-third complete and its took Heller more than five years to finish it. Catch-22 follows John Yossarian, an Army Air Corps Captain who is constantly devising ways to avoid further service. The Army bureaucracy, however, was able to counter each of his attempts. Heller tackles issues of peace and sanity, which are at the core of the Catch-22 concept: A sane man would not want to fight, but must do so because he is sane, while one who wants to fight is insane and thus is not required to do so. As soon as he decided not to fight, however, he was declared sane and again forced into battle. In the end, there was no way out of combat.
February 12, 2010
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