I heard about Kurt Vonnegut’s death this morning while getting ready for work. Not a good start to the day to hear that one of your favorite authors is gone, smashing your hopes of ever reading an unexpected new novel or short story by him. I guess it sounds sort of greedy, though. By some accounts it sounds like Kurt was more than ready to check out, and a person shouldn’t have to live longer than they want.
I can’t say I’ve read every book or story Kurt Vonnegut ever wrote, but I’ve read many of them and they’ve all been extremely memorable. Like this segment from Cat’s Cradle:
“The highest possible form of treason,” said Minton, “is to say that
Americans aren’t loved wherever they go, whatever they do. Claire tried to make
the point that American foreign policy should recognize hate rather than imagine
“I guess Americans are hated a lot of places.”
“People are hated a lot of places. Claire pointed out in her letter
that Americans, in being hated, were simply paying the normal penalty for being
people, and that they were foolish to think they should somehow be exempted from
I loved Cat’s Cradle, Galapagos, Timequake, and of course Slaughterhouse-five. Kurt had a way of making me think while providing me with the necessary distance from the day-to-day crap I need to stay sane, otherwise known as fiction. Thanks, Kurt.