Wednesday, April 11, 2007

So It Goes

Kurt Vonnegut has died.
Here is where I would say something profound and beautiful about the myriad ways in which he shaped my aesthetic and helped me to become the writer and person I am today.
Let me just say that I read Slaughterhouse Five because my father told me that I should read every book that had ever been banned. I started with Slaughterhouse Five and I became addicted to Vonnegut. So I worked my way through many Vonnegut novels. I learned from him that a book can be funny and make a bold political statement. That it can be imaginative in the largest sense of the word and can say something huge about the way we live.
I think for me this is the first time I have confronted the death of one of my literary heroes. I definitely would not be a writer today if I had never read Slaughterhouse Five. Or Cats' Cradle. Or "Welcome to the Monkey House." My favorite for a while was a sappy little story called "A Long Walk to Forever." It is sappy, but kind of sweet.
Vonnegut is dead. Long live Vonnegut!


Nik said...

Lovely tribute.

Lisa B. said...

Thanks for writing this. I just saw the obit and thought of Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five, which I read at such a young age that they were indelible, for the completely original voice I was hearing.

susansinclair said...

I read Breakfast of Champions first, because, quite frankly, I was reading anything I could find with sex in it. And along the way, I learned to appreciate complex, satirical narratives packed with irreverent humor.

Condiment said...

"Vonnegut died," I exclaimed on set the other day. I was met with some knowing nods and a lot of blank stares. Thank God no one had the balls to say "What's Vonnegut?" or I might have cried.

ErinAlice said...

I think I will read Slaughter House Five over summer break. Just because.