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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

NEWS: Kurt Vonnegut Dies at Age 84

Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favorite authors, has passed away at age 84 — I cannot link to a news article, because the news is too young. I saw the news both on Mark's Hyperliterature and on the CNN "Breaking News." Remember his short story "A Long Walk to Forever"? Vonnegut wrote his own epitaph:

If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:


His voice will be missed.


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Blogger stefanie said...

Is it wrong that I can't remember if I've ever actually read any Vonnegut? Since I can't remember, I probably haven't (and that's probably wrong), right?

April 12, 2007 11:57 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

It's not wrong exactly - he was a wonderful writer, though. If you liked... 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 or Catch-22, Slaughterhouse-Five might be for you, and if not, then probably not. But I've long since stopped stressing over not having read something, because when it comes right down to it, our lives are so very short and we'll never get to all of it, so we have to pick and choose. There are some many books and authors I feel I "should" read, but if I feel like reading "Harry Potter" and "Bridget Jones" of an evening, I'm just gonna do that instead. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get flamed for saying that, but there it is.

April 12, 2007 12:18 PM  
Blogger Mark A. said...

He had such a strong, strong narrative voice. And he was so philosophically interesting. Reminded me of a less inebriated PKD.

I'd pretty much agree with you A, because many times I'd much rather read Spider-man than Milton, but there are certain authors who I think are essential to fully understanding a particular culture. Vonnegut is quintessentially post-modern American, just as Shakespeare was quintessentially 16th century English.

Not that Vonnegut is on par with Shakespeare, but he did help define a culture. I could see a very convincing argument being made in favor of people like Vonnegut, Heller, Dick, et al, contributing to post-modernism as much, or possibly even more, than guys like Beckett and Pynchon.


April 13, 2007 11:04 AM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

I also feel sorry for I haven't read anything of him. Based upon Anniina's suggestion, I might give it a try. I liked 1984, but was unable to read very far into Catch-22... Have you noticed all these titles include a number, btw??
Does 'Crying lot 49' counts? I confess I had hard times reading it all the way, but I liked it.

But I'm with you guys, we have to select among the many, many excellent readings.
I think everyone should (?) start reading the ones that relate to one's original tradition and culture.

April 13, 2007 12:22 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...

SF - I too had a hard time with Catch-22, but loved Crying of Lot 49.

Mark - Really? You'd put Vonnegut over Pynchon and Becket?

April 13, 2007 9:10 PM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 14, 2007 10:33 AM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

now I can recall who Pyhnchon was.
and S. Beckett, well 'Waiting for Godot' was part of the high school curriculum..ah...I don't remember how much I understood of it at that time...maybe I should try reading it again...
Anniina, d'you think that'd make me more joyous?

April 14, 2007 10:34 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

NO! Reading "Waiting for Godot" will most likely _not_ make you feel joyous... I'll try to think of something that might :)

April 14, 2007 2:41 PM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

too late....

anyway I knew this particular piece of modern literature would NOT make me happier...I was just teasing you ;-P

But I'm waiting as for some suggestions for a happier reading :)

April 15, 2007 5:13 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

I'm almost finished reading a book which has given me more pleasure than anything I've read in the past few years: "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield (I think it's on the sidebar). That would certainly happify you, I'm pretty sure. It's just rich and engaging, and you won't want to put it down.

April 15, 2007 2:03 PM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

I will check the book in stores.

April 15, 2007 3:06 PM  

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