He's A Bokonist Now


Kurt Vonnegut was a gentle man. He wrote gentle admonitions to the governments and religions that seek to control and oppress man. He made up his own inter-glactic, time-travelling governments and religions in his books, addressing over and over the human condition and its vulnerability. His gentleness belied the darkness he percieved in humanity. This is apparent in this excerpt from his book, "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater",

"Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies, " he wrote, "you've got to be kind".

Kurt Vonnegut's books got to me in high school. I loved that you could break the literary rules the way he did, that a person could write these hilarious stories that made me feel like I was a part, like I could participate, or that at least he was talking to me. I felt included and inspired. Other "rebel" writers like Kerouc had made me feel bored and left out of all that coolness. Kerouc didn't need me, he had himself. But Vonnegut was gentle and sharp and funny and RIGHT.

I hope he is having a great time on Tralfamador.

Comments

sweetbilly said…
A sad day indeed... Sorry btw, I only just found your comment, but thanks for the kind words. Don't know Mr Gopnik. Where would be a good place to start ? Love the Decemberists (a recent discovery) though. I think they have a similar magic to Field Music. Have you heard the Final Fantasy album ? Apart from a great title (He Poos Clouds), it's really beautiful. Anyway, great piece on Kurt. Thanks.

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