Thursday, April 12, 2007

Vonnegut Gone, Lives On

Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday. The New York Times has the obit HERE.

In the self-seriousness of our time, Vonnegut made us laugh at ourselves and at each other equally. With his unblinking sense of irony -- a friend in my doorway just referred to him as "profoundly sardonic," which I think is perfect -- Vonnegut was the natural heir to the dark, penetrating, humoristic literary tradition that was handed down from Jonathan Swift, through Mark Twain.

A few weeks ago, my daughter became interested in his novels; we went to Barnes and Noble and picked out a handful. There was something really comforting in seeing the next generation sprawled on the couch, going through Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five, at a time in our history when you might think, reading the papers, that irony had disappeared entirely from the face of the earth.

I'm just glad there was a Kurt Vonnegut.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of us have our favorite Vonnegut. For me, it is "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater," particularly Eliot Rosewater's explication of "the Money River." I read it during my year between college and law school, and it helped to give me a healthy sense of what I was about to get into.

April 12, 2007 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess Kurt now knows if there's a damn cat and a damn cradle.

April 13, 2007 12:31 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

My daughter was able to read my copies of Vonnegut- yellowed and with soft pages from my own reading of his works in the 70's. I am not sure I remembered until reading his obit about his personal experiences in WWII

April 14, 2007 5:59 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home