By Joseph Heller
A darkly comedian and bold sequel to the yankee vintage Catch-22.
In Closing Time, Joseph Heller returns to the characters of Catch-22, now coming to the top in their lives and the century, as is the whole iteration that fought in international warfare II: Yossarian and Milo Minderbinder, the chaplain, and such newbies as little Sammy Singer and large Lew, all associated, in an uneasy peace and outdated age, combating no longer the Germans this time, however the finish. Closing Time deftly satirizes the realities and the myths of the United States within the part century in view that WWII: the absurdity of our politics, the decline of our society and our nice towns, the greed and hypocrisy of our enterprise and tradition -- with an analogous ferocious humor as Catch-22.
Closing Time is outrageously humorous and absolutely severe, and as tremendous and profitable as Catch-22 itself, a fun-house replicate that captures, right now grotesquely and correctly, the reality approximately ourselves.
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Extra info for Closing Time: The Sequel to Catch-22
Thus, a conformist other who is “spiritually attuned to interior decoration; . . prizewinning potboilers; . . [and] trite tripe” is essential for avant-garde attainment. ” In the first place, while these artists set out to reject customs, such gestures may easily ossify into a new set of unconventional conventions, as Poggioli explains: the conventions of avant-garde art, in a conscious or unconscious way, are directly and rigidly determined by an inverse relation to traditional conventions. Thanks to this relation, a paradoxical one, the conventions of the avant-garde are often as easily deduced as those of the academy: their deviation from the norm is so regular and normal a fact that it is transformed into a canon no less exceptional than predictable.
In fact, Koch is well known not only for writing but also sometimes for speaking in blank verse. Rather than talking about the New York School’s propensity for “open forms,” then, it might make more sense to talk about their neo-avant-gardist openness to forms both old and new. As David Lehman notes, the New York School renewed, recycled, and created a wide range of new forms: On the ground that the rules of all verse forms are at base arbitrary, they created ad hoc forms (requiring, say, an anagram or the name of a river in every line) and unconventional self-assignments (“translate a poem from a language you do not understand; do not use a glossary or dictionary”).
Appropriately, perhaps, the “original” Fountain disappeared shortly after it was disqualified from the New York show in 1917, but in 1950 and 1963 Duchamp approved the “selection” of two others. Then, in 1964, he “authorized” an edition of eight replicas based on Alfred Stieglitz’s 1917 photograph. This series of certified “copies” adds to the problematics of originality that Fountain continues to raise. One effect of this productive confusion The New York School and the Problem of the Avant-Garde 25 over originals and copies is that viewers may question the very idea of originality and origins, and begin to see “the original” itself as a construction.