Thursday, April 12, 2007

God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut

April 12, 2007

So it goes.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., 1922-2007

"To whom it may concern: It is springtime. It is late afternoon." Literary giant Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., died today at the age of 84. He was the author of such classics as Slaughterhouse Five, Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. I became obsessed with Vonnegut in my senior year of college, and I even did an entire independent study class on him. I read every single novel and collection of Vonnegut. I began speaking like him and writing like him. I filled notebooks with his quotations, underlined and starred his works, and urged my friends to read him. I wanted desperately to meet him. I felt, in fact, as if I knew him quite well. He was a profound satirist and an acute reader of human nature. I believe he lived in a constant state of perplexity that humans could have so much beauty and so much cruelty. Kurt Vonnegut wasn't for everyone. Some were appalled by his brusqueness and his often disgusted assessment of humans. To me, he was the voice that spanned many generations.

"I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center. "

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