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by Joseph Heller

  • ISBN: 0399133550
  • Category: Fiction
  • Author: Joseph Heller
  • Subcategory: Contemporary
  • Other formats: lrf mobi txt rtf
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons; 1st edition (September 6, 1988)
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • FB2 size: 1695 kb
  • EPUB size: 1717 kb
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 606
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Picture This is a 1988 novel from Joseph Heller, the satiric author of the acclaimed Catch-22.

Picture This is a 1988 novel from Joseph Heller, the satiric author of the acclaimed Catch-22. The novel is an eclectic historical journey across multiple periods of history, all connected by a single painting: Rembrandt van Rijn's Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer. The work jumps from the golden age of Athens, to 17th Century Holland, to the rise of the American Empire; hopscotching from Aristotle, to Rembrandt, to Socrates, and back to Heller and even Jimmy Carter.

Picture This is an incisive fantasy that digs deeply into our illusions and customs. Nobody but Joseph Heller could have thought of a novel like this one. Nobody but Heller could have executed it so brilliantly.

I came to Joseph Heller's Picture this, for a second time. My warning should have been that I remembered nothing from my first read.

Joseph Heller was the son of poor Jewish parents from Russia

Joseph Heller was the son of poor Jewish parents from Russia. Even as a child, he loved to write; at the age of eleven, he wrote a story about the Russian invasion of Finland. He sent it to New York Daily News, which rejected it. After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1941, Heller spent the next Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. Joseph Heller was the son of poor Jewish parents from Russia.

Picture This Heller Simon & Schuster 9780684868196 : Picture this: Rembrandt is creating his famous painting of Aristotle contemplating the bust of. .

Picture This Heller Simon & Schuster 9780684868196 : Picture this: Rembrandt is creating his famous painting of Aristotle contemplating the bust of Homer. As soon as he paints an ear on Aristo.

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Picture This by Joseph Heller - Picture this: Rembrandt is creating his famous painting of Aristotle . Joseph Heller was born in Brooklyn in 1923. In 1961, he published Catch-22, which became a bestseller and, in 1970, a film.

Picture This by Joseph Heller - Picture this: Rembrandt is creating his famous painting of Aristotle contemplating the bust of Homer  . He went on to write such novels as Good as Gold, God Knows, Picture This, Closing Time, and Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man. Heller died in 1999. Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 24, 2000).

Picture this: Rembrandt is creating his famous painting of Aristotle contemplating the bust of Homer. Mass Market Paperback Paperback Hardcover Mass Market Paperback Paperback Hardcover.

The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.

Everyday low prices on a huge range of new releases and classic fiction. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition.

Joseph Heller, born May 1st, 1923 in Brooklyn, New York to a Jewish immigrant family was a satirical writer and novelist. Joseph Heller's Biography. Other novels by Heller include ‘Good as Gold’ (1979), ‘God Knows’ (1984), ‘Picture This’ (1988), ‘Closing Time’ (1994) and ‘Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man’ (2000). Heller was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome in December 1981, an illness that made him paralyzed for some time. He described this time of his life in his autobiography ‘No Laughing Matter’ (1986). He was completely recovered by 1984. On returning to St. Catherine Heller received an honorary Fellow of the College in 1991.

Conjured back to life by Rembrandt's famous "Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer," Aristotle surveys history and profiles historical personalities, ultimately concluding that not much has changed in 2,500 years
Reviews about Picture This (7):
Alexandra
I came to Joseph Heller's Picture this, for a second time. My warning should have been that I remembered nothing from my first read. I am a J Heller fan. I can quote much of Catch 22 by heart. I still bristle at those who call him a One hit Wonder. I took the extra try to get through Something Happened and am glad that I did. Picture This, in this, my second read through was aggravating.
Picture This is something of an experimental novel. There is not a plot so much as a central story line. The picture in question is Rembrandt's Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer. Through the eyes of the painted Aristotle figure the reader experiences a deliberately disjointed history of classical Greece, the philosophies attributed to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, parts of the Peloponnesian War, the rise of European Mercantilism and some of what may be dozens of historic events, people , artists and a fairly complete bio of Rembrandt and the history of this particular painting. This much is ambitious.
All of the included people, philosophies and politics are from ancient history. All of Heller's conclusions and satirical insight on long gone people and events apply to the modern word and continue to apply to this day. This is evidence of the author's skills.
Part of the creativity of this irregular narrative is that the history is quite accurate. Indeed, there may be living historians who might who would class this as history. Another part of the creativity is the perfectly maintained level cynical insight. All events and players are given the same chance to be fake, faked, hypocritical, dishonest or deadly. This inflexibility in in handing down judgments against all named people, philosophies and politics is the cause of my frustration.

Heller places himself in a position where everyone has to disappoint. All actors and all events point to the failure of institutions to perform or to be able to perform. This may be a legitimate position for a writer to base a book, but it is hardly reason for a reader to finish the book. We get it: The world of Picture This is a failure and by extension we are living in a continuation of this failure. Then again Heller has no solutions or alternatives.

I admire the depths of Joseph Heller's scholarship. He forces his reader to think of much that has been taught as only a convenient short version and neither complete nor correctly summarized. For me the reading experience became unrelenting, depressing and draining. Page after page of bitter humor and sarcastic denunciation required too much of this reader. Picture this is an easier book to admire, after you read it, than a book you can enjoy as you read it.
Rishason
Picture This is much more than just "a jaunt through 2,500 years of Western Civilization." From the first chapter on, and every subsequent mention of Socrates, we are told that he is the unsung hero of Western Civilization.

While Socrates has been criticized for saying much and telling us nothing, he tells us himself what he taught, both by word and example: what he taught was that virtue, honor, wisdom, justice, and the search for truth were the paths to lasting happiness, and in order to become enlightened, we must use reasoning to discover our misconceptions of reality. (If this sounds like Jesus' message it is not a coincidence; they shared the same beliefs and the same fate.)

Since all of the reviews of this book that I have read barely mention Socrates, it seems Heller was wasting his time trying to get his point across. Paradoxically he was "dead-pan funny" and dead serious at the same time.

Hearing the truth is not what we want to hear--it is so repulsive to us that we kill the messenger. If our history books were ever to be written objectively, they would be like Heller's book-- history that we would learn from. As it is now, what we learn from history is to repeat our mistakes.

Joan Morrone (Author of a coming book "Resurrecting the Lost Art of Reasoning.)
Envias
My son loved it. He is in 10th grade.
Anasius
Everything went smoothly!
Nenayally
I have read this once before, but needed to revisit it. The breadth of the ideas that underpin this fascinating and hilarious book is enormous.
Gugrel
One of Heller's best. In this book, Heller is at his best when he interweaves the connections between the various eras portrayed.
Daron
Is this some kind of joke? I tried ... I really did. But this was just plain awful. No need to elaborate more.
“Picture This” is a book that is remarkable on many levels. The concept for the novel itself is almost genius, and the execution of that concept is no mean feat, and Mr. Heller pulls it off nicely.
It is amazing how this novel, published in 1988, feels like it was written yesterday about very current events. It just goes to show you how much history is a cycle of events and how much Western Civilization (and all civilization) just rotate through the same stories again and again. Page 101 of this text is literally a description of the current political leadership in the western world. Eerily prescient.
One of the greatest joys of this novel is its style. The book contains some irony, and then more irony and more irony mixed in with sarcasm and dry dark humor, and even more irony. It abounds, and is delivered in such a manner that it does not seem to be overkill. There were more than a few times while reading this text that I was reminded of reading Kurt Vonnegut.
Some highlights of the book included “Section VII: Biography” which is brilliant. It is a history lesson, satire of modern life and good reading and writing all in one. A real joy. “Section XV: The Last Laugh” is a clever overview of Western Civilization told while explaining the journey that Rembrandt’s painting “Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer” took from its original owner in the mid-1600s to its current home at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
A couple of examples of some of the wit in this text include one of the truest things I’ve ever read in a novel; “A middle aged man with a theory to which he has long been attached grows less interested in whether it is true and more obsessed that it be accepted as true…” and the biting and also very accurate “That property owned in common by all of the people is owned by none of the people but belongs to the government.” I mean seriously folks, that is some major truth right there!
I first read “Picture This” 16 years ago, and remember liking it. Although the last couple of chapters drag a little in comparison to those that precede them, the novel is exceptional. I was worried that my opinion of the text would change and not for the better. I needn’t have fretted; this book holds up and is well worth your time.

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