Famous American Writer
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2 Famous American Writer Joseph Heller Joseph Heller is famous post-war American writer, author of successful novelCatch-22. He was born on 1st May 1923 in Brooklyn, he comes from Jewish- American family but, as he often proclaims, he does not live as a Jew. During the second World War, he served as a pilot in Air Force. In years 1948 – 1949 he studied at Colombian University in New York and then at Oxford in Britain. Till 1975 worked as professor of literature at City College in New York. Since 1975 he has attended only to literature and writing. In 1953 he started writing his first novel inspired by war experience. Published eight years later, his Catch-22 (1961) became a literary sensation. It is still considered the best anti-war novel dealing with the second World War. It is written in a burlesque style of comic strips, mosaic or say in film technique. The central anti-hero is Yossarian, an American pilot in a bombing unit during the second World War. He tries obsessively all possible ways to avoid action and to save his life, but in vain. At the end of the novel, he deserts. The novel shows, with “black humour” and irony, the absurdity of war. It is represented by an Air Force rule, called Catch 22, saying that: ”a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind”. In other words, anyone who wants to get combat missions (air attacks) is not really crazy and thus cannot leave the army service. The only characters who escape destruction in Cath-22 are those ones who mastered the laws of absurdity e.g. Milo, the boss of catering service, who constantly tries to profit the war regardless of the consequences. Heller’s novel is aimed against both civilian bureaucracies and inhuman military organisations. The novel was successfully filmed in 1970. Heller’s only play,We Bombed in New Haven (1967), is also reminiscence of World War II. Thirteen years after Catch-22, Heller published his next novel,Something Happened (1974), dealing with a crisis in an American middle-class family in the 1960s. The central character is Bob Slocum, an ordinary corporation clerk, insensitive to all the people around, who is suffering from an uncertain feeling that something in his life and in society is not in order.Good as Gold (1979) is a funny satire on American politics. The main character is a Jewish intellectual, trying to hide his Jewish background, hired to work for the U.S. government (it is about Henry Kissinger). In the next novel,God Knowns (1984), Heller rewrites the story of the Biblical king David (from the Old Testament). He demythologises the well known legend using grotesque details. His king David is an old bitter man who is remembering his past deeds without respect or administration. This story also shows the vanity of secural power and glory. Picture This (1988) is an experimental historical novel. In the 1980s, Heller suffered from a serious illness, Guillain and Barré syndrome, and he became paralysed. After partially recovering he wrote, together with his friend Speed Vogel, an autobiographical proseNo Laughing Matter (1989) describing his experience with the illness. In the 1990s, Heller wrote a sequel to Catch-22, calledClosing Time (1994). It tells the history of Yossarian and other characters of his first novel fifty years after the end of the war. Ernest Hemingway Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in Illinois July 21, 1899. He was a writer and during the 20th century he created a mythological hero in himself that captivated and confounded not only serious literary critics but also the whole world, he was a star for the people. Hemingway was the second son of Dr. Clarence and Grace Hall Hemingway's six children. He had four sisters and one brother. He was named after his father Ernest Hall and his uncle Miller Hall. Illinois was a mainly Protestant suburb of Chicago. It is located only ten geographic miles from the city, but in reality it was much further away philosophically. It was a conservative town that tried to isolate itself from Chicago. Hemingway grew up in the influence of the conservative values of strong religion, hard work, and physical fitness. When he was a boy, his father taught him to hunt and fish near the Lake Michigan. He learned how to survive in the open nature. Nature was the touchstone of Hemingway's life and work. Though he often found himself living in major cities like Chicago, Toronto and Paris early in his career, once he became successful he chose some isolated places to live like Key West, or San Francisco or Cuba. All were convenient places for hunting and fishing. When he wasn't hunting or fishing by himself or with his father, his mother taught him the points of music. Grace was a singer. Hemingway never had a knack for music and suffered through choir practices and cello lessons, however the musical knowledge he acquired helped him in relationship with his first wife Hadley. She played the piano. Hemingway received basic education in the Oak Park public school system. He was good in sports. He enjoyed working on the high school newspaper called The Trapeze, where he wrote his first articles, usually humorous ones where he imitated the popular satirist of the time, Ring Lardner. Hemingway graduated from the school in the spring of 1917 and he took a job as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star; his Uncle Tyler who was a close friend of the chief of the paper found the job for him. At the time of Hemingway's graduation from High School, the United States joined the Allies in the fight against Germany and Austria in April, 1917 (The First War). When Hemingway turned eighteen he tried to enlist in the army, but was deferred because of poor vision; he had a bad left eye. When he was informed that the Red Cross was taking volunteers as ambulance drivers he quickly signed up and he was accepted. He read the newspapers there and he tried to learn something new. He started in France and t