This handwritten chart was used by Heller to outline chapters of Catch-22 and to track characters and events. Characters are listed along the top of the grid and dates are listed along the left side of the grid. Where the characters and dates intersect on the grid, the events in the story are identified. In this way Heller was able to keep the story straight in his mind while presenting it in a chaotic fashion in the novel. This lack of adherence to real time was a new technique in writing. It was well received by some in literary circles and criticized by others. Its literary effect was to heighten the experience of the chaos of war in the mind of the reader.

--- Facsimile provided by: Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University

Clicking this chart will launch a new window with a viewer designed to magnify the handwritten cells within the table. Enjoy!

About Birss Memorial Library Exhibition

The Professor John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Lecture and Professor John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Library Fund were established by University alums, Robert Blais '70, to honor Professor John Howard Birss, Jr., nationally recognized for his knowledge of first editions.

The Birss Lecture is an annual lecture series benefiting the humanities programs at Roger Williams University's Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences.