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Why Not Catch Him?,
This review is from: Why Not Catch-21?: The Stories Behind the Titles (Hardcover)
The title should be why not Catch 18, as it is made clear that that was the number chosen by Heller as a title up until the publisher with deeper thinking and subtlty gave us the title which became a well known (and according to Heller) misused phrase. That is one of the high points of this ragtag colllection of titular explanantions. One should ask: Why not Lord of the Hobbits? or Catcher in the Maize? These books however, are not included. What is her eis only that which has a story behind it. At least a partly verifiable story.
It is a mine of (useless) information. The pseudonymes of the 3 Bronte sisters and their first book of published poems and when they died, and some of their influences are all to be found in one chapter. Then there is Moby Dick and the first Sherlock Holmes story, stolen from Edgar Allen Poe; perhaps? Tnhere is, unlike sherlock Holmes, lots of conjecture and little in the way of facts for most of the chapters, except C.S.Lewis, one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century and accountable about his written works. He answers a young enquirers question about Aslan in this way:
Has there never been anyone in this world who(1.) Arrived at the same time as Father Christmas.(2.) Said he was the son of the Great Emperor.(3.) Gave himself up for someone else's fault to be jeered at and killed by wicked people.(4.) Came to life again.(5.) Is sometimes spoken of as a lamb (see the end of the Dawn Treader). Don't you really know His name in this world. Think it over and let me know the answer!
Then there is Marie Stopes's book about married sex. It turns out that she would have been appalled that her name is now attached to abortion clinics and the rights of homosexuals. All very interesting though.
Finally, the banality of most of the stories is amusing. A clockwork Orange was probably derived from nothing more subversive that a Terry's Chocolate Orange!