The Time and its Significance in Catch 22
Yossarian deletes parts of speech like modifiers and adverbs and the narrator says That erected more dynamic interlinear tensions, he felt, and in just about every case left a message far more universal (Heller, p.16). Reading between the lines, it is clear that Heller here is warning the reader that the story which follows will not have all the linking aids that people normally expect, but that a text with random gaps will require quite a lot of effort in joining the dots to make sense of it. The phrase dynamic interlinear tensions is chosen specifically because Heller proceeds now to construct a novel with exactly this quality. If the reader is confused by the terminology, and by the resulting literary work, at least he should not be confused by the intention: it is to create more tension than a standard linear narrative, and to make the message more universal. The effect of the linguistic terminology is funny in the book because it is applied to such a comic context, but the serious point is nevertheless still true.As the novel progresses this playfulness with the reader continues. After a fairly standard narrative of two chapters, the story, if it can be called a story, shifts back in time. The location changes from the island of Pianosa in the Mediterranean to Rome. This sudden switching, with no warning and little in the way of explicit signposting, is a very frequent occurrence in the book.