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#167499 04/12/07 07:48 AM
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From Requiem

When the last living thing

has died on account of us,

how poetical it would be

if Earth could say,

in a voice floating up

perhaps

from the floor

of the Grand Canyon,

It is done.

People did not like it here.


Kurt Vonnegut, Novelist Who Caught the Imagination of His Age, Is Dead at 84

Published: April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, whose dark comic talent and urgent moral vision in novels like Slaughterhouse-Five, Cats Cradle and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater caught the temper of his times and the imagination of a generation, died last night in Manhattan. He was 84

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/books/12vonnegut.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&th&emc=th (might need log in)

Wasn't sure what to do with this, so thought this was a good place ... hope all are well. Jo

jmh #167501 04/12/07 10:08 AM
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the passing of a great one.

(and a hug for you, Jo!)


formerly known as etaoin...
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So it goes.

Faldage #167508 04/12/07 07:18 PM
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'Sometimes the pool-pah', Bokonon tells us, 'exceeds the power
of humans to comment.'

tsuwm #167510 04/12/07 07:56 PM
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In the mid sixties I met Kurt Vonnegut at a bar in a Holiday Inn in Birmingham, Alabama. We talked science fiction. I was a bit of a know-it-all back then so understandably he left after a couple of drinks. Later I read his books. In retrospect I wish I had been more subdued. Oh well...so it goes.

jmh #167669 04/18/07 11:51 PM
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Sorry, Jo. Didn't mean to mantle ya with another thread. Didn't see this Vonnegut tribute before. Thanks for posting this. And good to see you around.

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Well, Whitman, you could continue Vonnegut's life by telling us about what he said that changed your way of thinking.

You tell me yours...and I'll tell you mine.

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Originally Posted By: themilum
Well, Whitman, you could continue Vonnegut's life by telling us about what he said that changed your way of thinking.

You tell me yours...and I'll tell you mine.


Sure, milum...lessee....

'Round 'bout the time I came to Vonnegut's writings at the age of 19, 20 or so I had descended into a staunch nihilism...nothing mattered...total meaninglessness. When I read Slaughterhouse 5 his dark, quirky touch of humor had a way of loosening that up for me...his brand of cynicism actually had a way of infusing a positive gleam into my cynicism. Lots of his images made me pause for a good chuckle, if not more. And I remember that one of his famous quotes from "Slaughterhouse," in context, "Why are we born only to suffer and die?", made me laugh out. And his wonderful absurdities, like suicide by drinking Drano in Breakfast of Champions still brings a bizarre smile to my face...even as I'm writing this. In short, treating the pessimism with humor helped to open the door to get past such a frightening vision of "reality" for me, if that makes any sense?

And I still think The Sirens of Titan is one of his most underrated books, and belongs up there with his classics.

Last edited by WhitmanO'Neill; 04/20/07 12:17 AM.
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No worries - m'dear - your header was a little less cryptic than mine - I guess most people would call him a novelist, I think, for me, his language and approach was more significant than the stories that he told, which is why I described him as a poet.

I think that it mattered to me that someone like him existed, that he could say the unsayable and still raise a smile. I have a sense of his voice as a backdrop to the 20th century - a counterpoint to the those who are relentlesly cheerful - someone who helped give a voice to the doom and gloom in a way that made it feel like someone else was depressed at the state of the world.

jmh #167732 04/22/07 02:39 PM
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I dunno Jo, I don't think that today we need a counterpoint to those who are relentlessly cheerful. Back then..maybeso.

And maybe that is why I couldn't finish reading the books he wrote in the eighties, but moreso I think that his Art, by then, had become Craft; after all, how many times can you say the same thing, the same way, differently?

Still, his was a fresh voice that many of us heard in the sixties and seventies and reading Vonnegut was like reading no one else who wrote.

Poet? No. Writers of prose can never be poets. Artist? Yes, in as much as writers can be considered artists, maybe like John Dos Passos, or Hemingway, in that they too left the summation to the reader.

Not that I need an excuse to drink, but I will feel better tonight when I sit down an empty glass in Kurt Vonnegut's honor.

Last edited by themilum; 04/22/07 09:10 PM.
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