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Catch-22 going on 50

Boyd Tonkin at The Independent writes about Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and why it is a book that changed the world. In June, it will be 50 years since this novel was published.

At work, at school, at home, all-encompassing systems organised lives on the basis of a logic and reason that – on closer inspection – came to look utterly phoney. “Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t,” writes Heller, “but if he were 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. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.”

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