The Best Joseph Heller quotes

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Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22, was born in Brooklyn, New York on May 1, 1923. Though he had a successful career as an author, Heller’s road to publication was a long and difficult one. He spent over ten years writing Catch-22 before it was finally published in 1961. The novel was an instant success and has since become a classic American novel.

Discover the best Failure, World, Crazy, Time quotes from Joseph Heller, and much more.


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About Joseph Heller

birth of the author

May 1, 1923

death of the author

December 12, 1999

occupation of the author


college of the author

Alma Mater:
New York University

genre of the author

Satire, Black Comedy

award of the author

Notable Works:
Catch-22, Something Happened


I don’t believe in miracles because it’s been a long time since we’ve had any. โ€” Joseph Heller

She was the epitome of stately sorrow each time she smiled. โ€” Joseph Heller

He could not make them understand that…having a good time bored him and was not worth the effort. โ€” Joseph Heller

Only Hungry Joe had something better to do each time he finished his missions. He had screaming nightmares and won fist fights with Huple’s cat. โ€” Joseph Heller

i don t believe in miracles because it s been a long time since we ve had any Joseph Heller quote

It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him. โ€” Joseph Heller

Where are the snowdens of yesteryear? โ€” Joseph Heller

Who is Spain? Why is Hitler? Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear? โ€” Joseph Heller

If God was dead, how could I feel this bad? โ€” Joseph Heller

I want to keep my dreams, even bad ones, because without them, I might have nothing all night long. โ€” Joseph Heller

she was the epitome of stately sorrow each time she smiled Joseph Heller quote

All of our religions but the Judaic and the Greek think more of us dead than alive. โ€” Joseph Heller


In a world in which success was the only virtue, he had resigned himself to failure. โ€” Joseph Heller

In the long run, failure was the only thing that worked predictably. All else was accidental. โ€” Joseph Heller

Success and failure are both difficult to endure. Along with success come drugs, divorce, fornication, bullying, travel, meditation, medication, depression, neurosis and suicide. With failure comes failure. โ€” Joseph Heller

There is no disappointment so numbing…as someone no better than you achieving more. โ€” Joseph Heller

in a world in which success was the only virtue he had resigned himself to failure Joseph Heller quote

If character is destiny, the good are damned. โ€” Joseph Heller


That crazy bastard may be the only sane one left. โ€” Joseph Heller

I think in every country that there is at least one executive who is scared of going crazy. โ€” Joseph Heller

I think that maybe in every company today there is always at least one person who is going crazy slowly. โ€” Joseph Heller

They’re not going to send a crazy man out to be killed, are they?’ ‘Who else will go? โ€” Joseph Heller

that crazy bastard may be the only sane one left Joseph Heller quote

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

There’s a rule saying I have to ground anyone who’s crazy … There’s a catch. Catchโ€“22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy. โ€” Joseph Heller

The promises of maniacs, like those of women, are not safely relied upon. โ€” Joseph Heller


If Richard Nixon was secondโ€“rate, what in the world is thirdโ€“rate? โ€” Joseph Heller

I never even realized I was Jewish until I was practically grown up. Or rather, I used to feel that everybody in the world was Jewish, which amounts to the same thing. โ€” Joseph Heller

if richard nixon was second rate what in the world is third rate Joseph Heller quote

The night was full of horrors, and he thought he knew how Christ must have felt as he walked through the world, like a psychiatrist through a ward full of nuts……. โ€” Joseph Heller

Men,’ he began his address to the officers, measuring his pauses carefully. ‘You’re American officers. The officers of no other army in the world can make that statement. Think about it. โ€” Joseph Heller

Mankind is resilient: the atrocities that horrified us a week ago become acceptable tomorrow. โ€” Joseph Heller

Peace on earth would mean the end of civilization as we know it. โ€” Joseph Heller

When I look up, I see people cashing in. I don’t see heaven or saints or angels. I see people cashing in on every decent impulse and every human tragedy. โ€” Joseph Heller

Inspiring Phrases From Joseph Heller

In short, Clevinger was one of those people with lots of intelligence and no brains, and everyone knew it except those who soon found it out. โ€” Joseph Heller

There is wisdom in madness and strong probability of truth in all accusations, for people are complete, and everyone is capable of everything. โ€” Joseph Heller

The Lord gave us farmers two strong hands so we could grab as much as we could with both of them. โ€” Joseph Heller

Redundant Thematics

In Joseph Heller Statements


Now you’ve given them hope, and they’re unhappy. So the blame is all yours. โ€” Joseph Heller

What do you do when it rains?’ The captain answered frankly. ‘I get wet. โ€” Joseph Heller

now you ve given them hope and they re unhappy so the blame is all yours Joseph Heller quote

Never quit a job as a matter of principle. You’ll always regret it. โ€” Joseph Heller

But Yossarian knew he was right, because, as he explained to Clevinger, to the best of his knowledge he had never been wrong. โ€” Joseph Heller

Various Statements From Joseph Heller

I don’t think the ‘what’ distinguishes a good novel from a bad one but rather the ‘how.’ โ€” Joseph Heller

Rise above principal and do what’s right. โ€” Joseph Heller

That’s another thing that pisses me off about that Michelangelo statue of me in Florence. He’s got me standing there uncircumcised! Who the fuck did he think I was? โ€” Joseph Heller

i don t think the what distinguishes a good novel from a bad one but rather the how Joseph Heller quote

If a man is going to leave one wife to marry another, it’s better if he divorces the first before he marries the second. โ€” Joseph Heller

When you consider the opportunity and power He had to really do a job, and then look at the stupid, ugly little mess He made of it instead, His sheer incompetence is almost staggering. โ€” Joseph Heller

When people disagreed with him he urged them to be objective. โ€” Joseph Heller

The problem with the loneliness I suffer is that the company of others has never been a cure for it. โ€” Joseph Heller

More Phrases From Joseph Heller

There was no telling what people might find out once they felt free to ask whatever questions they wanted to. โ€” Joseph Heller

well then i d certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way wouldn t i Joseph Heller quote

You’re an intelligent person of great moral character who has taken a very courageous stand. I’m an intelligent person with no moral character at all, so I’m in an ideal position to appreciate it. โ€” Joseph Heller

They] agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything. โ€” Joseph Heller

It doesn’t make sense. It isn’t even good grammar. What the hell does it mean when they disappear somebody? โ€” Joseph Heller

But the God I don’t believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He’s not the mean and stupid God you make him out to be. โ€” Joseph Heller

That’s some catch, that Catchโ€“22,’ he observed. It’s the best there is,’ Doc Daneeka agreed. โ€” Joseph Heller

Well then I’d certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn’t I? โ€” Joseph Heller

Deeper Quotes From Joseph Heller

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you. โ€” Joseph Heller

I wouldn’t want to live without strong misgivings. โ€” Joseph Heller

Major Major never sees anyone in his office while he’s in his office. โ€” Joseph Heller

All of my books deal in a very rough, rude fashion with subjects about which there are great conflicts of opinion. โ€” Joseph Heller

just because you re paranoid doesn t mean they aren t after you Joseph Heller quote

Clevinger had a mind, and Lieutenant Scheisskoph had noticed that people with minds tended to get pretty smart at times. โ€” Joseph Heller

Maybe I am senile already and people are too kind to tell me. People are not kind and would tell me. (Maybe people have told me, and I’m too senile to remember). โ€” Joseph Heller

Why are they going to disappear him?’ I don’t know.’ It doesn’t make sense. It isn’t even good grammar. โ€” Joseph Heller

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