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 David S. Fishback 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 andrear 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  

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