Where in the hell am I?

April 13, 2007

So it goes.

Filed under: Uncategorized — John @ 4:06 am

I found out this morning that Kurt Vonnegut died. I’ve been pretty sad about it since. He’s talked and written about death his whole career, and specifically about his own for quite a while, so I feel like I should have been ready for it.
I first read Vonnegut in July or August of 2001, which is much later than a lot of people usually discover him (I was 29 if you don’t know or want to do the math). It was at a very tumultous time in my life, but I don’t really think that made a difference. I don’t even remember if I actually bought Slaughterhouse Five or borrowed it from someone, or if it was just in the house. I remember lying on a bed in a near-empty house, reading by the sunlight pouring through the window, and finishing the book in one reading. After that, I borrowed a collection that Dan had, which included Cat’s Cradle. That book struck me in a way deep down in a way that only 3 or 4 other books ever had (On The Road, Autobiography of Malcolm X, Demian), and it’s now my favorite book of all time. Bokonon and his philosophy, conveniently rendered in calypso form, have really shaped my attitude towards life these last 5 years. I’ve owned and given away at least a half dozen copies of the book, and my own copy now is part of a 6 book hardcover compilation. Even now, I have extra copies of a couple Vonnegut books to give to anyone who shows an interest.
Many better things have and will be written about him today, and in the next few days. Vonnegut, to me, is about the absolute frustrating, maddening feeling of loving humanity, no matter how many times things happen that make you feel like you should know better.
I know I’m not the only person to do so, but it was his request for when he passed on: He’s up in Heaven now.


1 Comment »

  1. you may find his interview with studs terkel, in will the circle be unbroken interesting. he reflects on death and his expectations. it’s maybe 6 or 7 pages. the book is in the death/grieving section at half-price for five bucks or something.

    Comment by Lei-Leen — April 18, 2007 @ 10:40 pm

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