Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm wearing a black armband today . . .

I just received the news (via the internet) that Kurt Vonnegut has died. It's a sad day indeed.

I wasn't introduced to Kurt Vonnegut until the early 90's (I know - where in the hell had I been? Maybe shopping.) but became a true convert. I'm not a "believer" (religion/ufo's/altruism) and neither was he. It was his humanism that appealed to me most. I've read many of his novels - and loved most of them. He was extremely clever and wrote with an interesting blend of dry wit (always appreciated), dark humor (often appreciated), sarcasm (appreciated only when not directed at me :-), and social conscience.

His list of novels include: Player Piano (1951) (good year for novels and babies!), The Sirens of Titan (1959), Mother Night (1961), Cat's Cradle (1963), God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965), Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1971), Breakfast of Champions (1973), Slapstick (1976), Jailbird (1979), Deadeye Dick (1982), Galapagos (1985). Bluebeard (1987), Hocus Pocus (1990), Timequake (1997).

Some quotes attributed to Vonnegut may (or may not??) keep you amused:
*Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.

*I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.

*Mere opinions, in fact, were as likely to govern people's actions as hard evidence, and were subject to sudden reversals as hard evidence could never be.

*Busy, busy, busy, is what we Bokononists whisper whenever we think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.

*"No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat's cradle is nothing but a bunch of X's between somebody's hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X's..."
"No damn cat, and no damn cradle."

If I had been lucky enough to have met Kurt Vonnegut my question to him would have been this: How did you manage to make it to/through adulthood with your imagination intact? It seems to me that the adult/corporate world does not much appreciate creativity or imagination (or appreciates it only to a small, manageable degree) and I am fascinated by those who are not only able to hold onto those ideals which are so lauded in childhood but to actually eek out a living using them. (We seem to become world weary so early and give up on thinking for ourselves.)

Buy some candles on your commute home from work tonight as

Another light has just gone out. . .

1 comment:

Cris said...

Thanks for that!
In this time and age it seems harder and harder to stick to what you believe. It is so much easier to give in in a society that is progressively loosing the core values...

I was looking for a new book to read.
Now I have found some! ;-)