"There was only one catch...And that was Catch-22": First Edition of Catch - 22; Signed by Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut

  • Catch-22.
  • Catch-22.
  • Catch-22.

Catch-22.

$14,000.00

Item Number: 99680

New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961.

First edition of one of the most significant novels of the twentieth century. Octavo, original blue cloth. Boldly signed by Joseph Heller on the title page. Additionally signed by author Kurt Vonnegut on the front free endpaper, who has added a self-caricature. Like Catch-22, by Vonnegut’s friend, Joseph Heller, Slaughterhouse-Five was a World War II novel embraced by opponents of the Vietnam War, linking a so-called “good war” to the unpopular conflict of the 1960s and ’70s. In 2005, six years after Heller’s death, Vonnegut published a short poem in The New Yorker with the title ‘Joe Heller.’ The poem recalled a conversation Vonnegut and Heller shared at a party hosted by a billionaire on Shelter Island. In a few verses, Vonnegut expresses his admiration for the late Heller and his friend’s philosophy about the meaning of life. The two agree that gaining knowledge has been more substantive than gaining wealth throughout both of their lives. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing. Jacket design by Paul Bacon. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A unique example.

"Catch-22, Joseph Heller's first and best-known novel, depicts a military world turned upside down. In Heller's World War II, a supplies manager has more power than a general, and anyone seeking a discharge on the grounds of insanity is declared sane enough to keep on fighting. When the novel appeared in 1961, World War II veterans appreciated its satire of the military bureaucracy and chaos of war. By the mid-1960's, it had become a cult classic among counterculture activists for its biting indictments of war. Many consider the novel to be the definitive statement of the modern antiwar position. The phrase 'Catch-22', symbolizing the absurdity of all institutional logic, has become a permanent part of our language" (NYPL Books of the Century 177). Basis for the 1970 film directed by Mike Nichols. The cast included Alan Arkin, Bob Balaban, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Olimpia Carlisi, Art Garfunkel, Jack Gilford, Charles Grodin, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, Paula Prentiss, Martin Sheen, Jon Voight, and Orson Welles.

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