April 12, 2007

And So It Goes

Nov. 11, 1922 to April 11, 2007
Kurt Vonnegut dies after a fall in Manhattan.
And so on.
The creator of Mother Night, Cat's Cradle, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Slaughterhouse Five, and Breakfast of Champions (among many more), Vonnegut had retained his acid wit and barbed tongue, though he stopped writing novels years ago.
I am still struggling with how I feel about the passing of this seminal American author: hack, showman, modern Twain, self-conscious curmudgeon or crusader in wrinkled linen. At the very least, he added spice to the oatmeal of the literary scene. At the most ... who knows?
I dunno. I dunno. I dunno.
I do know that his books and collections should be required reading, for any one of a number of reasons, but primarily because he had a style. A [fill in the blank] style, worthy of study if only because so much of today's writing seems not only to have been written on a computer, but written by a computer.
I shall not say I will miss him, because he has a place in my home, right there beside the Hemingway and pretty far from the OED.
Farewell, Kurt.
*I hope Montana Wildhack greets you on your arrival.*


muninn said...

Tralfamador Gazette:
(3rd dimension supplement)
Kurt Vonnegut died April 11th 2007 at his home in Manhattan.
Kurt Vonnegut will always die on April 11th 2007 at his home in Manhattan. Kurt vonnegut has always died on April 11th 2007 at his home in Manhattan.
Welcome home Mr. Vonnegut. We look forward with great anticipation to the first of your many wonderful Novels. They have been a galactic treasure for millenia already. Mr.Vonnegut will be survived by his lovely concubine Ms.Wildhack and will continue his existance in lunar exclusion dome B, Linear North, until our scientsts Destroy the universe once again.And again after that, or before if you prefer. While we never could see exactly where the cat or her cradle actually were, you taught us not to see the string as well.For this philosophical insight, you will be and have always been awarded the Kilgore Trout Nuclear Abacus Award(Tralfamadors highest decoration for work in non-linear,or random realities). Planet earth has and will produce many works of literature, but your contribution stands uniquely alone. Funny, tragic, cynical, sometimes right-on,sometimes fantastically flawed, and just about everything in-between. Previous generations on your planet shall mourn your loss, while at the exact same time, new generations shall discover your bounties. The circle is complete. The circle has always been complete.The circle always will be complete. Something to do with the nature of circles, I suppose.At any rate, it is with deep sadness and great joy that we celebrate not who you were, but what you are.
God bless you, Mr.Vonnegut.
End Transmission.
Weather Alert. Ice nine reported on the moon Titan. Global cooling anticipated. Wampeters, Foma, and Granfalloons to follow. Bring your galoshes.Boku Maru!

Anonymous said...

Kurt Vonnegut had a hard life. His first course in the humanities came at the end of a spade digging corpses from the City of Dresden as a P.O.W after a fire-storm percipitated by allied carpet bombing. Upon such an experience no man can make a judgement unless he was there. If Kurt was cynical, he had better reason than I (and I have cultivated cynicism in spades). If Kurt scribbled an asshole on paper as an illustration of his literary integrity . . . well, fine, who am I to judge. He got a Nobel for the effort. Next time, or the last time, I see him I'll have to remember, or have the pregonitive experience necessary to ask, "What did (do) you mean, Kurt?" He was probably deep in the bottle at the time. No shame there. Six of the first seven American laureates for literature were alcoholics. Let's see the American Psychological Association explain that little fact. Drink hardy tonight, mates, a captain has passed. Huzza!