Tuesday, May 15, 2012

< < < prism 2 > > >

"The screaming, struggling civilian was a dark man with a face white as flour from fear. His eyes were pulsating in hectic desperation, flapping like bat's wings, as the many tall policemen seized him by the arms and legs and lifted him up. His books were spilled on the ground. 'Help!' he shrieked shrilly in a voice strangled in its own emotion, as the policemen carried him to the open doors in the rear of the ambulance and threw him inside. 'Police! Help! Police!' The doors were shut and bolted, and the ambulance raced away. There was a humorless irony in the ludicrous panic of the man screaming for help to the police while policemen were all around him. Yossarian smiled wryly at the futile and ridiculous cry for aid, then saw with a start that the words were ambiguous, realized with alarm that they were not, perhaps, intended as a call for police but as a heroic warning from the grave by a doomed friend to everyone who was not a policeman with a club and a gun and a mob of other policemen with clubs and guns to back him up. 'Help! Police!' the man had cried, and he could have been shouting of danger." —Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Salt of the Earth (Herbert Biberman, 1954)

Water (1566) & Summer (1563) by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

"Do you really find Nurse Duckett so attractive? I should think she was rather bony. Rather bland and bony, you know. Like a fish."

"Orr sniggered lewdly, his bulging crab apple cheeks blowing outward with pleasure."

"His nose was squat and red, and he had lumpy white, bunched-up eyelids circling his small gray eyes like haloes of bacon fat."

"These [tomatoes] were picked only yesterday. Notice how firm and ripe they are, like a young girl's breasts."

"People didn't stick their heads into ovens with the gas on, jump in front of subway trains or come plummeting like dead weights out of hotel windows with a whoosh!, accelerating at the rate of sixteen feet per second to land with a hideous plop! on the sidewalk and die disgustingly there in public like an alpaca sack full of hairy strawberry ice cream, bleeding, pink toes awry."

"The colonel wore his khaki shirt collar wide open, exposing a shadow of tough black bristles of beard on his egg-white neck..."

"[S]he's got a uniform in my room made of purple silk that's so tight her nipples stand out like bing cherries."

—similes and descriptions from Catch-22

1 comment:

Tyler said...

Pauline Kael, one of America's most beloved film critics (she had style, dammit!) said in 1954 that Salt of the Earth was "as clear a piece of communist propaganda as we have had in many years."