Posts Tagged: Catch-22

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #86: Max Allan Collins

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In April, the Mystery Writers of America named Max Allan Collins a Grand Master, the organization’s peer-voted lifetime achievement award. Collins has had a prolific and often eclectic career. The Iowa Writers Workshop graduate has written more than one hundred books, has had a long career as a comics writer including, most famously, the Road to Perdition saga, has been a screenwriter and director of fiction and documentary films, written audio dramas and nonfiction books.

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American Lit’s Reclusive Editor

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Without editor Robert Gottlieb, contemporary classics such as True Grit and Catch-22 might not exist in the forms we know them—but that doesn’t seem to move him. In a rare interview for the Guardian, Michelle Dean visited Gottlieb at his New York home to talk about his long list of achievements, which he demurely brushes off; his forthcoming memoir; and why editors should lay low and let authors have the spotlight.

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Stability in the Spinning Chaos

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Why is Catch-22 so widely read? According to the Guardian’s Sam Jordison, Joseph Heller’s novel is powerful because its protagonist Yossarian is “an old-fashioned hero”:

Readers immediately cared about Yossarian, and his survival. Yossarian is the point of connection and understanding; a strong central fulcrum around which the chaos of the novel spins.

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An Enduring Paradox

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Catch-22 turns 50 this year. NPR explores how and why the the novel’s central paradox still resonates with readers—particularly with “a new crop of young people distrustful of their elders. ”

“Catch-22 is a concept everyone can understand. That’s why it so quickly became part of the language — a phrase to be called upon when there seems no way out of the traps life can set for you and when humor really is the best response.

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