brian on 2007.04.12
at 10:06 pm
Kurt Vonnegut has passed away. He was 84. You very well may have heard about this already. I’m happy to see that he’s getting a lot of press in his death. He would probably find humor in this. I really should have read cite>Man Without a Country when it was published. Here are a few good articles on him,
- The third, a short piece by KV himself in In These Times on his days as a Saab dealer on Cape Cod. KV was a Senior Editor at this magazine as well. Many of the articles he wrote from ITT found their way into cite>A Man Without a Country.
So now, what the hell this all means to me.
I don’t tend to read novels. Why not, I have never really been able to nail down. I’m reasonably certain that people look down upon me over this. I mostly avoided reading them in high school. I think the main reason was I would pick them apart, “No one would really do that.” It was the fiction of it.
When I was in high school, I had to write a book report. No way I was going to get out of it without actually reading something. (Not that I didn’t/don’t — I read too much — just not long fictional novels) A friend of mine suggested I look into his favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut.
I ventured up to the school library and found Welcome to the Monkey House. There’s a good chance you haven’t heard of it. Even Google had trouble finding it. That’s because KV was much more famous for his long fiction than his short stories. This was a collection of the latter. It became an instant favorite of mine. A satirical humor, a cutting wit, that just stuck a chord with me.
Ever since that day, I’ve repeated in my head “I should really get one of those book of his that’s actually famous.” Today, I’m sad that I have not yet. I’ll have to choose one that’s not so science-fiction-y. To the chagrin many of my friends, I just can’t stand it. Ray Bradbury cured me of sci-fi books in middle school.
When people ask me who my favorite author is, I cite Kurt. I feel a bit like a fraud having only read one of his books (but, heh, technically many of his stories) but it serves the purpose. Definitely my favorite fiction book. Plus, KV is a “cool” person to cite as your favorite author, so it’s a great cover. Guess the secret is out. But whatever my personal history with the guy, it’s clear his passing has had an impact on me, and so it goes.
I think I’ll start with cite>Slaughterhouse 5, or, A Children’s Crusade. That seems like a safe bet.
Posted in: Books · Recent Events
jess said on 2007.04.13 at 05:53 pm
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