Monday, April 30, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, R.I.P.

Like every writer and comedian, I must record the passing of the patron saint of modern irony, Kurt Vonnegut. He died a week or so ago, and the hordes of detached, smirking ironists have to say farewell. Yes, I read Vonnegut along with everyone else in the seventies, and after the first one or two books, bought and devoured everything the man ever wrote afterward. And I loved them. And I loved him...Until the ironic edge became sharper, and his smile was only for his author photo, because it was slashed out of his writing. It's always sad to me when an ironic smile becomes jaded, and suddenly it's not irony at all, but a bitter sneer.

I found the bitter sneer a sad end for him. He's certainly not the first person to get crankier and crankier in his later years because nobody seems to be listening closely enough. But it was a reminder to me that life goes on no matter what I think about it, and I can only do my best to be kind, and good, and funny, so I might as well try to keep my chin up.

"Life is short, misery sure, mortality certain, but on the way, why not carry those two inflated pig bladders labeled zest and gusto." - Ray Bradbury

1 comment:

joliecat said...

In sophomore year they had a whole list of authors you could pick to write a book report about. I chose "Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut because his name sounded funny. It starts out something like "When I was a much younger man, 2,000 quarts of booze ago..." but it was very entertaining. So I also read "Slaughterhouse Five," "Player Piano," and "Breakfast of Champions" on my own.