7 thoughts on “Kurt Vonnegut

  1. I have rarely felt more comfortable in this world than when reading Kurt Vonnegut’s books. When I was a young man, his books left me with the feeling that I had to be a writer too, that there were things I needed to say and truths I needed to reveal, that I could find a way to do it. I did not know then what all those things and truths would be, or what shape and sound my voice would grow, but here I am so many years later with a long list of books and articles and . . . Kurt Vonnegut is one of the people to whom I owe so much for what has evolved. I wrote him a letter once and he replied with a little typed post card. It is here now in this room, framed below a picture I grabbed from the net of KV, and remains one of the prized possessions of my life. I heard about his death while trying to sleep with an ear plug whispering BBC news to me . . . and got up to join the world in bidding fare thee well to a spirit that inspired so many people. And I am one of them. “It ends like this: Poo-tee-weet.”

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  2. amen to the commenter above. vonnegut certainly was inspiring, and while he didn’t inspire me to be a writer, he did strongly influence the way i perceive my place in this world. for that i’m thankful..may he rest in peace.

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  3. When I was in high school English class, Kurt Vonnegut’s novels were required reading. Slaughterhouse FIve, Sirens of Titan, Cat’s Cradle. I remember them all. They were tremendously entertaining works of American literature.
    Flash forward about ten years, when I was walking down the street in Manhattan where I then lived and worked, when I passed by Kurt Vonnegut sitting on a bench reading a newspaper. Even though it was New York, I was astonished that no one else in the vicinity seemed, or cared, to recognize him. It was like he and I were in a slightly shifted dimension from the other people on the sidewalk. I spoke with a little trepidation. “Mr. Vonnegut,” I said quietly, ” I rarely approach celebrities on the street, as I know they don’t want to be bothered by ‘ordinary’ people. But, I am such a fan of your writing I just had to say ‘thank you’.” He looked up, his eyes shone, and the first thing he said was, “And what do you do?” I told him I was a photographer. He smiled. “Did you know that my wife is a photographer?”, he asked. “Uh…no”, I sheepishly admitted. He was very proud of his wife, and, as he stood up, seemed genuinely interested in me. I still can’t imagine why, but as we walked along the avenue for ten or fifteen minutes and had a wonderful conversation, just one human being to another, I was thrilled. I will never forget The Day I Met Kurt Vonnegut.

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  4. When generalising people badmouth the French, you remind them that the French gave us Georges Brassens. The Belgians? Jacques Brel. If Americans are the target, you point to the existence – and the generosity, warmth, insight, humour and talent – of Kurt Vonnegut.
    They had in common the gift of remaining ‘marginal’ while simultaneously embodying what is best and what is unique about the culture that spawned them. Sadness that they are silenced can be equalled only by gratitude that they existed in the first place.
    Goodnight, Mr Vonnegut.
    And sweet dreams.

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