Thursday, April 12, 2007

God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut

Today began with heart-breaking news. Kurt Vonnegut, prolific author, sly social commentator, and one of my own personal heroes died yesterday at the age of 84. Anyone who has read a book or essay by Vonnegut will know what I mean when I say he had an eye for unearthing the minutia of everyday society and turning it inside out, making us all look very silly in the process. Vonnegut's sense of humor and satire made it easy to look at the world a bit differently and maybe learn something about ourselves at the same time.

I never knew Kurt Vonnegut; he was almost sixty years old when I was born, and had already made his footprint on American Literature by the time I discovered his work. Even with that being true, he will always be one of my favorite authors and I will always regret never getting to see him speak. Whether he was writing about the eccentric president of the Rosewater Foundation or a young soldier who has come "Unstuck in time", his funny and sometimes absurd stories taught me something about the world we live in. Strangely enough, even with his world being centered around World War II and mine around the start of the twenty-first century, not much has changed in those intervening years. His words apply just as well now as they did when he first wrote them.

So here's to you, Mr. Vonnegut. We raise our glasses in your honor. Your words will forever teach us how to laugh, how to love, and how to see truth when we cannot find it for ourselves. All of us here on earth hope the Trafalmadorians are taking good care of you. You will be missed. God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut.

1 comment:

Dodger Fan said...

There are many stories of Kurt Vonnegut haunting the neighborhood of Manhattan where he lived and walked his dog. He has always haunted me no matter where he lived, and now it continues. The man who wrote of the "Church of God the Utterly Indifferent" (Sirens of Titan)got us to care and taught us that to understand our times we have to become unstuck in it. We at least need to know someone who is unstuck in time. Thank goodness Billy is still around. So, Joel. Dodger Fan is me. So long, Mr. Rosewater.