Joseph Heller – Picture This
It was a love at the first sight! I was something like 16 when I read “It was a love at the first sight” sentence for the first time and although I was able to get surprising lot of an action (wink wink) for that shy of a guy, I still consider Heller’s Catch 22 to be the best thing I was able to get hold of at that age.
Summary: “Picture This” is a shallow beating of Rembrandt and a deep deep dive into the minds of a person/group of people/society.
I was always torn between liking and disliking my history classes as they featured some of the most amazing stories, yet many of them were missing the essential piece – the right narrator.
“Picture This” are the best history classes you will ever get, because good old Joey is the funniest person who ever lived on this good planet and you betcha he won’t let you down on the narration! He will stop you, make you read him twice, trice and then he will award your patience with some beautifully-flowing nonsensical conversation. And even if this book’s plot would be a pure fiction, it would be an impressive one (‘course I borrowed this one from the book). So much better that it’s not…
It’s as real as Rembrandt’s paintings, Socrates’s teachings, Plato’s intellect and people’s interest in art. You can hardly ask for more…
Well, you can and you’ll get that too.
And you get to fall in love in here twice! (Heller is an obvious one, but…) If you have been as much of an ignorant as I was and didn’t know what Socrates was all about, you will end up reshuffling your all times Top 3 people list. I promise!
Just do yourself a favor and read it! Seriously!
“Rembrandt could not afford a Rembrandt.”
“He said that readers of books read much and learned nothing, that they appeared full of knowledge, but for the most part were without it, and had the show of wisdom without its reality.
He said this in a book.
The book, though, is by Plato…”
On the Economy:
“Rich is the country that has plenty of poor.
In periods when prosperity is general, the value of the impoverished to that country increases, and nations not rich in poor must import indigents from inferior countries for the labor now considered degrading for citizens of repute to perform.
The bidding sometimes goes high.
It is fortunate for the progress of civilization that there are always plenty of poor.”
“Considerations of right and wrong have never yet turned people aside from the opportunities to take what they could get by superior strength.”
On Plato’s suggestions for a functional state:
““It is the incurable wickedness of man that makes the work of the legislator a sad necessity,” declared Plato.
For the incurable wickedness of the legislator he gave no efficacious remedy. “
On Jesus (sorta):
“There will be no happy ending.
All good tragedies have happy endings.
What would happen had Jesus not been crucified?
The trial of Socrates was a fair one. There was no manufactured evidence, no lying witnesses. There was no evidence, no witnesses. All in the jury knew that. A lucky thing about the rule of law in the democratic society Anythus had helped restore was that charges against a person no longer had to be proved. They only had to be convincing. Due process was observed. Justice was done.
Even Socrates did not complain.”
But should I pick just one, it would be this one:
“The desire of some men for peace is a frequent cause of war”