Joseph Heller Quotes

Enjoy the top 365 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Joseph Heller.

Joseph Heller Quotes

Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren, the inoffensive joint squadron operations officers, were both mild, soft-spoken men of less than middle height who enjoyed flying combat missions and begged nothing more of life and Colonel Cathcart than the opportunity to continue flying them. They had flown hundreds of combat missions and wanted to fly hundreds more. They assigned themselves to every one. Nothing so wonderful as war had ever happened to them before; and they were afraid it might never happen to them again.
— Joseph Heller —

-You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You're dangerous and depraved, and you ought to be taken outside and shot!

— Joseph Heller

Major Major had been born too late and too mediocre. Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was.

— Joseph Heller

I used to get a big kick out of saving people's lives. Now I wonder what the hell's the point, since they all have to die anyway."
"Oh, there's a point, all right," Dunbar assured him.
"Is there? What's the point?"
"The point is to keep them from dying as long as you can."
"Yeah, but what's the point, since they all have to die anyway?"
"The trick is not to think about that."
"Never mind the trick. What the hell's the point?"
Dunbar pondered in silence for a few moments. "Who the hell knows.

— Joseph Heller

Nately had a bad start. He came from a good family.

— Joseph Heller

That's not what justice is," the colonel jeered, and began pounding the table again with his big fat hand. "That's what Karl Marx is. I'll tell you what justice is. Justice is a knee in the gut from the floor on the chin at night sneaky with a knife brought up down on the magazine of a battleship sandbagged underhanded in the dark without a word of warning. Garroting. That's what justice is when we've all got to be tough enough and rough enough to fight Billy Petrolle. From the hip. Get it?

— Joseph Heller

He mashed hundreds of cakes of GI soap into the sweet potatoes just to show that people have the taste of Philistines and don't know the difference between good and bad.

— Joseph Heller

He felt imprisoned in an airplane. In an airplane there was absolutely no place in the world to go except to another part of the airplane. Doc Daneeka had been told that people who enjoyed climbing into an airplane were really giving vent to a subconscious desire to climb back into the womb.

— Joseph Heller

Neighbors sought him out for advice on all subjects, for he had made much money and was therefore wise.

— Joseph Heller

Clevinger really thought he was right, but Yossarian had proof, because strangers he didn't know shot at him with cannons every time he flew up into the air to drop bombs on them, and it wasn't funny at all. And if that wasn't funny, there were lots of things that weren't even funnier. There was nothing funny about living like a bum in a tent in Pianosa between fat mountains behind him and a placid blue sea in front that could gulp down a person with a cramp in the twinkling of an eye and ship him back to shore three days later, all charges paid, bloated, blue and putrescent, water draining out through both cold nostrils.

— Joseph Heller

I've always depended very heavily on the good opinion of others.

— Joseph Heller

I couldn't see tying myself down with a middle-aged woman with four children, even though the woman was my wife and the children were my own.

— Joseph Heller

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