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Catch-22
November 20, 2011
8:14 pm
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cyber west hollyweird
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  We'd all be saying "That's a 'Catch-18' ya' got there" if Joseph Heller had published his 1961 novel under it's original title.  The number "18" means "Alive" in Jewish Gematria or Kabbalistic Numerology.  And everybody wanted to get out of WWII "Alive."   But another WWII novel by Leon Uris, "Mila 18" had just been published and Heller's agent thought the titles might be confusing. 

 

  Catch-11, suggesting "repetition" of "damned if you do, damned if you don't," was also rejected because of the recent release of the original 1960 movie "Ocean's Eleven."  For similar reasons Catch-17 and Catch-14 were also rejected.  Finally, the deja vulike qualities and double entendres of Bureaucratise suggested by the number "22" won out.  Thus we have today's Catch-22, Catch-22. 

 

  Every couple of years I like to go back and re-read Catch-22 because of the Bureaucratic Nightmarish quality where everything really is a Catch-22 both in the novel and in real life.

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