Saturday, May 24, 2008
My Favorite Author
I have, for some time now wanted to write a little bit about my favorite author Kurt Vonnegut Jr., most American readers will know some of Vonnegut's words from his most famous novel "Slaughter-House 5" which has become basically required reading. His books are completely without genre. Part love stories, social commentary, and definitely science fiction, Vonnegut will take you to places you have never been to and make you feel part of the scene. Main and supporting characters become close friends and you can see yourself in about every character. Another unique aspect of Vonnegut's writing is that he has some main themes and also characters that travel through many of his novels (the most popular of course is either Kurt himself or Kilgore Trout).
Kurts style most likely developed from the fact that he was NOT an english major, he went through school in the chemistry department, and subsequently some scientific themes can also be noted in his books (especially Cat's Cradle). I watched an interview of Kurt on Charlie Rose, and Vonnegut said "the best thing for a writer to do is stay out of the English department!" he later describes that if you are a english student and you write something for your professor he will say "well this is very good ______ (fill in your name), but there are some problems. Let me show you how James Joyce approached this issue." We can see that you cant grow as a writer and have inspiration if you are constantly being compared to the greatest writers in history.
Outside of writing, the human named Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was just as interesting and endearing as the writer. He was president of the Humanists (taking over for Issac Asimov) and generally a caring and considerate man. He urged people to write to make "your soul grow". Although he was quite the critic of mankind's propensity for atrocity (as he was part of it in WWII"), he was always level-headed enough to see both sides of humanity, both the love/hate, sadness/happiness, and the glory/gloomy.
His books cannot be put into a genre or time period, they are simply timeless. If you are unfamiliar with his writing I suggest my favorite book of his "Mother Night". Also you can type "Kurt Vonnegut Jr quotes" in google, and find so many great quips, advice, and social criticism. Vonnegut died months ago, and I am still stunned. I dont go more than a day without thinking about what Vonnegut said his uncle used to say, roughly "if this isn't nice, i dont know what is." We constantly throughout our lives never truly recognize what we have, when we have it. I can only hope Vonnegut knew and appreciated his impact on the human race.
I am really sad to put this video in this post as it angers me so, but its important to see how terrible American news and Fox news in particular is/ or has become. This is their memorial to Vonnegut, note this is just after his death, "Faux" news calls him a "liberal writer" and "irrelevant".
But to combat this awful "news story" i will repost this video, as well as tell you all Kurt's favorite joke "Kurt is in heaven now."