Teaser Tuesdays – Portrait of an artist, as an old man

Teaser Tuesdays is a bookish meme hosted at Should Be Reading. Getting involved in this one is quite simple – all you need to do is take a book you’re currently reading, open to any page randomly, and share two sentences from the page (being careful not to reveal any major spoilers, so, you know, don’t go to the last page and “randomly” share the final twist).

Portrait of an artist as an old manI’ve decided to share my two sentences from a book called Portrait of an artist, as an old man. The book was the final novel written by Joseph Heller, most famous for his classic novel (and my favourite ever work of fiction) Catch-22. I have had mixed feelings about Heller’s other works, as have most people, and he seems to address that here as he writes a story of a frustrated old writer who has never repeated the success of their earlier work trying to find the right subject for their final novel. Through this fictionalised version of himself, Heller also pays tribute to his favourite writers but also to other writers who never lived up to the success of their earlier work either, such as Joseph Conrad and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Anyway, here are the sentences:

They also parted friends, although his heart was filled with a galling sense of injury and of enmity toward her also.
Who the hell did they always think they were?

What book/s are you reading at the moment? I’d love to hear from you as always!

19 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesdays – Portrait of an artist, as an old man

    • It’s a great book isn’t it? I’ve also read Closing Time, which was a sequel to Catch-22 set some 45 years later (and written in the early 90s too), with the few surviving characters much older but surprisingly similar. That was okay, thought provoking at least. I also read Something Happened, or tried to at least. I got three quarters of the way through before decided nothing had actually happening, contrary to the title of the book, and I gave up. So on one hand, my favourite ever book, on another, a book I simply couldn’t be bothered with anymore. And then lies this book I’m reading now, which if nothing else flows surprisingly well.

    • It definitely feels bitter, although I think that is something that rings true throughout all of Heller’s novels on the whole. But there is something playful in this book too that has been missing in some of his other work.
      Your TT sounds quite interesting too – from a genre I haven’t read much of actually overall. Not sure why.

    • Haha, no it really doesn’t. I think it hints at a lot of relationships in this book though, from what I’ve seen.
      Your TT definitely sounds intriguing – a good revealing and thought-provoking couple of sentences there. 🙂

    • I agree – it’s one of those classics that everybody should try at least once. 🙂
      By the way, while looking at your teaser I noticed you’ve already read 23 novels this year? That’s crazy impressive! Well done!

    • Ooh wow it sounds so interesting, your book! Creepy, but interesting!
      Catch-22 is probably the only novel of Heller’s you want to read and definitely the only one you need to read. Although I’m not minding this one, I wouldn’t say it’s for everyone – you can kind of tell a cynical old man has written it. 😛

    • It is a good idea hey? I like the Top Ten Tuesdays as well but I find often I don’t have ten books to fit the weekly themes there. I like this one because I can do it easily every week no matter what I’m reading. I think it would be fun to do something like this once a week just to balance out the bigger, more serious posts.
      Also, I am so glad you liked Catch-22. It’s such a good book. Absolutely ridiculous but brilliant. I think my favourite bit is actually when they explain how the concept works (I think in Chapter 5 or thereabouts?) – it’s just so well explained (as it should be, consider Heller created the concept and gave it the name we now use as a daily expression…to think that number was almost different too, how weird). I also LOVE the story about Major Major…I mean it’s horrible but hilarious.

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