Thursday, April 12, 2007

"So It Goes..."

Kurt Vonnegut (author, painter, father, veteran, scientist, human being) passed away yesterday from injuries sustained during a fall. He was 84 years old.

Have you ever read such human stories as those of Vonnegut? Well, human in their humor and imagination -- the sense of possibility and the touches of awe and compassion. There was a man stunned by man's cruelty to man -- but he wasn't content to be a mere observer and telegrapher of life. He didn't try to cop out of being an active participant. (Well, maybe once ... but sometimes it's hard to keep waking up every morning when you're both sensitive and observant.)

He didn't quit or sell-out or stick his head up his ass like some narcissistic ostrich. (What happened to some of you guys? When did you all get so damaged and self-involved and undependable?)

Anyway... I'm looking over the list of his Complete Writings, and one exciting thing is ... I've only ever read some of his work -- Breakfast of Champions, Happy Birthday, Wanda June, and, of course, Slaughterhouse Five or The Children's Crusade. So I have tons of Vonnegut works ahead of me. Art has greater longevity than artists. "So it goes."

I really did go back to Dresden with Guggenheim money (God love
it) in 1967. It looked a lot like Dayton, Ohio, more open spaces than
Dayton has. There must be tons of human bone meal in the ground.

Goodnight, Mr. Vonnegut. Thank you! (Read Playing Chess With Kurt Vonnegut by Andrew Leonard. It's a very sweet memorial.)


Pelmo said...

A man of his stature passes away, and not even a small ripple is created on the news media pond.
A stupid comment causes a never ending tsunami.
Is it me, or is there something wrong with our society?????????????

La Sirena said...

You are correct -- something is wrong with our society. Vonnegut was an independent thinker. That is not currently admired by our culture.

However I must say that the radio station I listen to in the morning -- one of the few left in which the DJs pick the music rather than a computer -- did a Vonnegut tribute every half hour with the news today.

Pelmo said...

If I am not mistaken, is that not the station that originates from a planet far, far away.

JoeC said...

I've only read Slaughterhouse Five of his works, but have read many more of his interviews and articles. I miss him, and I don't know why...maybe because he was one of the famous, respected people who didn't hide behind Bull Exrement. I'm looking forward to reading "A Man Without A Country." Should have read it sooner.

Zoro said...

I'm not as guilty as some Jennifer and you're right to challenge hypocrisy even by those who descry it themselves - it's hard to keep 'clean' - many a heroin addict I have met are truer than some dudes touting sincerity who don't have a 'habit.'

Nice to see you - and Kurt affected me aswell.


La Sirena said...

Joe -- Precisely, he wasn't full of crap. I miss him, too. BUT we both have much of his writing to look forward to. I'm going to introduce my son to him this summer.

Z -- Glad you're up and around the information highway again. Money makes dishonest addicts out of some. Talk to you soon!

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