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RIP Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007 — Why Now?
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RIP Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007

The Associated Press obiturary is rather good.

He is an acquired taste that everyone should acquire. He had the proper respect for the absurd, and saw the world as it was, not as he wished it to be. He lived in the seeming hope that any biography would be filed under Fiction.

Fortunately they never succeeded in burning his books.


1 Anntichrist S. Coulter { 04.12.07 at 12:25 am }





First Hunter, then Molly, now Kurt.


And yet, Tom Wolfe will never fucking die.

(Despite the fact that he outlived his usefulness by 1980.)

Danielle Steele will live forever. mAnn Coulter, Patron Saint Of The Codpiece, STILL gets published. JONAH MOTHERFUCKING GOLDBERG GETS A FUCKING PUBLISHING DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are, as a consciousness and as a conscience, ROYALLY FUCKED.

Welcome to the monkeyhouse, Kurt. You will always be with us.

But it is going to SUCK without you on this mortal plane.

2 Steve Bates { 04.12.07 at 12:58 am }

I’ll remember The Sirens of Titan. Of course I’ll remember Slaughterhouse Five. But I’ll also never forget the ancient Vonnegut, interviewed on NPR two or three years ago, verbally dismantling the Bush administration and their idiotic wars, with a deftness I could only stand back and admire. R.I.P., Mr. Vonnegut. Somehow we will muddle on without you, but damn it, it won’t be easy.

(Rented a tent… a tent… a tent…)

3 BadTux { 04.12.07 at 2:05 am }

And so it goes.

— Badtux the Vonnegut-readin’ Penguin

4 John B. { 04.12.07 at 8:31 am }

Years ago, I had the good fortune to know Kurt Vonnegut personally, thanks to my father’s wide circle of literary, artist, musician, and academic friends. Vonnegut did seem like a “timid” man in person, as one obit I’ve seen says. But that was only on the surface. At his core he was in fact a man of great personal courage, enormous kindness, and possessed a hugely admirable sense of outrage.

Years ago, around late 1969 or early 1970, my wife and I were invited to his Barnstable home for a visit. Vonnegut had just returned from the Biafra civil massacre on a special assignment for Life Magazine. His then-wife and a few family members were on hand, seated here and there in the cozy living room.

Vonnegut was still visibly upset at the carnage he had seen. (Over a million killed or starved). It was, he said, beyond anything he could have imagined. At times, he became even tearful.

What most impressed me at the time was how he was at all times the committed writer as much as a warm-hearted humanist. Repeatedly, he would sit for a time and recount the horrors he had witnessed. Then, sometimes in mid-sentence, he would suddenly stand up (he was so tall his head cleared the low ceiling only by inches, or so it seemed), and duck into a back room where he did his writing presumably to jot down a thought. In his absence, his wife or someone else would try to change the topic to something more mundane, but Vonnegut always returned in a minute or two and resumed the Biafran stories as if he’d never left.

5 Bryan { 04.12.07 at 3:07 pm }

He left the world a different place than it would have been had he never lived and he will be remembered. That’s a form of immortality everyone can agree on, which would probably annoy him. He had the skill and temperament to enjoy “afflicting the comfortable.”

He did good.

6 oldwhitelady { 04.12.07 at 8:58 pm }

It sounds like he was a decent man. It’s a loss that he died, but to get to 84 years of age isn’t so bad. At least he left a lot of reading material behind.

7 Bryan { 04.12.07 at 9:12 pm }

They stick him in Science Fiction which is really not reflective of his writing. He really belongs in a separate category with Jonathan Swift, Douglas Adams, and a few others who use elements of fantasy to highlight problems of society and a laugh, be it ever so bitter.

8 Steve Bates { 04.12.07 at 11:30 pm }

I read that Vonnegut died of neurological injuries sustained in a fall, rather than of lung cancer. So his complaint against Brown and Williamson… that their damned cigarettes, despite the promise on the package, wouldn’t kill him… held valid all the way to the end.

Vonnegut idolized Mark Twain. Is it unreasonable to think that, in some senses at least, Vonnegut may become Twain’s logical successor?

(Aside: I miss Douglas Adams terribly. No creative person should ever die that young.)

9 Bryan { 04.12.07 at 11:40 pm }

Twain belongs in that group, satire with a conscience.

He was a Humanist in the best sense of the word and movement.