Catch-22

From a series of interviews with Catch-22 author Joseph Heller, friends, and co-workers from his former job at the McCall ad agency.

For two hours almost every night, five nights a week, for seven years, Heller wrote his novel. Once, for two weeks, he quit in disgust, turned to television and other past times, finally bored himself stiff. "What do people who are not writing novels do with their evenings?” he asked his wife, and then returned to novel-writing.

Friends who summered with the Hellers on Long Beach, Long Island, remember that Joe and Shirley always left parties very early. "The novel, you know,” people would say significantly after they’d gone.

“Don’t forget, Joe worked on his own escape, that novel, for over eight years.”

Or, put another way: something small every day.

“The image of Thoreau has been fixed for the public by educators and "men of taste”: it is that of a hermit, a crank, a nature faker. It is the caricature which has been preserved, as is usually the case with our eminent men.

His whole life has bore testimony to the obvious fact which men are constantly overlooking, that to sustain life we need less rather than more, that to protect life we need courage and integrity, not weapons, not coalitions.

By living his own life in his own "eccentric” way Thoreau demonstrated the futility and absurdity of the life of the (so called) masses. It was a deep, rich life which yielded him the maximum of contentment. In the bare necessities he found adequate means for the enjoyment of life. ‘The opportunities of living,’ he pointed out, 'are diminished in proportion as what are called the 'means’ are increased.’“

— Henry Miller on Henry David Thoreau (via)

“The more we discover, the more we invent, the more crippled and frustrated we become.”

— Henry Miller

“Some people felt it was too conservative. You can see from the comps that I tried to give the studio something they hadn’t seen before and they basically wanted what they had seen before, But I get criticism for it, from Monday-morning quarterbacks who don’t understand I don’t make those decisions; I just make the art. I run as best I can but the coach makes the decisions.”

— Poster artist Drew Struzan on the work he did on Hellboy (via)