Joseph Heller
Lecture Date: 3-9-1992
Click the link below to listen ot his celebrity's lecture:
Interview: This clip begins immediately with author Joseph Heller discussing his writing of Catch 22 (1961) and reading a section from the book. He regales the audience with early reviews of the “novel.” Heller reminisces about his writing career. He reads sections from two other books, Something Happened (1974) and Good as Gold (1979). The author explains his writing process and how he gets ideas for his novels. He reads from his novel God Knows (1984), based on the biblical story of King David. He then jumps to the topic of his recovery from the rare and paralyzing disease called Guillain-Barré Syndrome. No Laughing Matter (1986), a book Heller wrote with his friend Speed Vogel, was based on Heller’s experience with this syndrome. He finishes his lecture by answering questions from the audience.
Biography: Joseph Heller (1923-1999) was a surreal novelist whose 1961 classic Catch-22 (1961) remains a seminal, antiwar novel. The term “catch-22,” coined in this novel, has become a part of the American vernacular, now used to refer to any illogical or paradoxical situation. His other books include Something Happened (1974) and Good as Gold (1979). As a struggling writer, Heller also tried his hand at writing screenplays and plays. His film credits include the spoofs Casino Royale (1967) and Dirty Dingus Magee (1970). Mike Nichols directed the film adaptation of Catch-22 (1970). In 1994, Heller published Closing Time, a sequel to Catch-22. He died of a heart attack.