Literary Precedents for Closing Time

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In Chapter 27 of Closing Time, Yossarian goes with former detective sergeant Larry McBride down a staircase in the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal, to a metal closet with a false back and hidden door, through which they then journey to a subterranean realm influenced both by accounts of the classical Greek underworld and Dante's Inferno (1321). There they view a number of writers, including William Saroyan, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, James Joyce, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath — an assortment of figures that reflect Heller's recommended reading list. Not only does Yossarian meet authors but also some of their characters, such as Thomas Mann's Gustav Aschenbach, from Mann's Death in Venice (1912; translated into English 1924), a book that influenced the elegiac tone of Heller's novel, and Schweik from Jaroslav Hasek's The Good Soldier Schweik (1920), a...

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This section contains 240 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Closing Time Short Guide
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Gale
Closing Time from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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