Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22” opened in movie theaters on this date in 1970. It starred Alan Arkin, Jon Voight and Orson Welles.
“You mean there’s a catch?”
“Sure there’s a catch,” Doc Daneeka replied. “Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy.”
And with that simple exchange, “Catch-22” entered into the accepted vernacular of the English language. Today it’s common knowledge that a “Catch-22” means a no-win situation, a problem in which the desired outcome is impossible because all choices lead to the same negative result.
It took Joseph Heller eight years to write his first novel, from the time he began writing “Catch-22” in 1953, until its publication in 1961. And it took a very interesting turn along the way…
In 1955, Heller released the first chapter of the novel in Issue 7 of New World Writing. The title at that time was “Catch-18.”
It was only by sheer accident, or serendipity, if you will, that Leon Uris’s new novel was titled “Mila 18,” and to avoid confusion, Heller’s title was changed just prior to publication!
On a personal note, a current dilemma of mine, my own “Catch-22,” concerns whether or not to continue writing this blog. My “desired outcome” is to have thousands of readers clamoring for more of my writing. To date, my readership numbers are less-than-stellar, and does not merit the time it takes to write these posts, and yet if I don’t write, there will be nothing for anyone to read, also resulting in less-than-stellar readership numbers.
So what’s a blogger to do?