Yossarian Haruspex: Some Observations on 'Catch 22'

Don Anderson

Abstract


Let me, unlike Joseph Heller, begin at the beginning, and in
the first three sentences of Catch-22 discover three major themes which I shall develop: "love", "liver", and the novel's idiosyncratic and intricately wrought structure.

It was love at first sight.
The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.
Yossarian was in the hospital with a pain in his liver that fell
just short of being jaundice.'

Why does the novel begin there, like that?

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