By Thomas Freller
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Additional resources for Cagliostro and Malta: Fact and Fiction and the Greatest Impostor of the Eighteenth-Century
WaIter Nash's comment on the characters certainly includes hirn: they are trapped 'within a closed system of argument which envelops all, and from which they cannot escape because they have re course only to propositions generated within the system' . 17 For all his sceptidsm towards the war Yossarian becomes involved in the collective guilt (by causing the death of Kraft when he makes two approaches during the raid on Ferrara). He is primarily important as a voice opposing with administrative processes, repeatedly and futilely insisting on their arbitrary nature.
Time is also crucial in Catch-22 as series (the opening chapter shows Yossarian in hospital once again), as continuity (the war goes on as a permanent state without any end in sight), as repetition (the act of flying missions) and as linear sequence (the inevitable raising of the number of required missions is apremise to the novel). Much of the novel's complexity grows out of intersections between these different perceptions of time which divides our attention. In the first chapter we are tom between Yossarian's activities as a beginning, a primal event which will be repeated later, and the suggestion of earlier recurrences.
34 Before considering repetition let us see how time figures in the novel and particularly whether it is accessible to orderly explanation. The standard syntactic form in Catch-22 is the simple declaratory statement. Only occasionally do we get longer sentences like the following which begins in the simple narrative past tense: 'The system worked just fine for everybody, especially for Doc Deneeka who found hirns elf with all the time he needed to watch old Major de Coverley pitching horseshoes in his private horseshoe-pitching pit, still wearing the transparent eye patch Doc Daneeka had fashioned for hirn from the strip of celluloid stolen from Major Major's orderly room window months before when Major - de Coverley had returned from Rome with an injured cornea after renting two apartments there for the officers and enlisted men to use on their rest leaves' (emphasis added) (33).
Cagliostro and Malta: Fact and Fiction and the Greatest Impostor of the Eighteenth-Century by Thomas Freller