Apr 12 2007
06:47 am

Kurt Vonnegut, the satirical novelist who captured the absurdity of war and questioned the advances of science in darkly humorous works such as "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Cat's Cradle," died Wednesday. He was 84.
"We probably could have saved ourselves, but we were too damned lazy to try very hard... and too damn cheap," he once suggested carving into a wall on the Grand Canyon, as a message for flying-saucer creatures.
"My father, like Hemingway, was a gun nut and was very unhappy late in life. But he was proud of not committing suicide. And I'll do the same, so as not to set a bad example for my children."

What a great writer. Books that make you think.

WhitesCreek's picture

Ice 9 and a morbidly wicked

Ice 9 and a morbidly wicked wit. Vonnegut was a favorite of mine. His message was almost always about the absurdity of war and how, as a species, we seem to never learn. I can't quote it exactly but I liked a recent statement from Vonnegut on humans and the Earth's environment:

"It seems that the planet's immune system is trying to shake us off."



Carole Borges's picture

Sirens of Titan was my favorite

Gentleness was a hallmark of Vonnegut's writing. He taught us how to look at emptiness and live with it. He made us chuckle and sometimes double over with laughter. My vocabulary still contains Vonnegut words like karass, the group of people that surround you and with whom you have a deep affinity. I love this line, from Sirens: "What were people like in olden times, with their souls as yet unexplored?" He was talking about my generation and the ones to follow. He was talking about now. Vonnegut was a jester and a prophet, a master who could write lines that seemed so simple, yet conveyed profound meaning. I'm so glad I had a chance to read his books. In fact, I think I should now re-read them all in his honor.

gttim's picture


I am actually in the middle of Slaughterhouse Five right now. I have Galapagos waiting to be reread. I will have to pick up a few more.

Opinari's picture

"The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal."

Harrison Bergeron was and is my favorite short story of all time. In tribute, I think I will read it again today during lunch.

Midori Barstow's picture

Kurt Vonnegut: A Requiem for

Kurt Vonnegut: A Requiem for the USA

'All the other species are dying and so will we. I’m whistling as I walk past the graveyard... whistling as beautifully as I can'

Published on Sunday, February 5, 2006 by The Sunday Herald (Scotland)

< (link...) >

Midori Barstow's picture

Kurt Vonnegut and UT

When he spoke at UT (how many years ago was that?)
I remember he said that the real purpose of life is
to screw around. Wonderful man...I'm deeply thankful for
all that he has left us.

from a bio.:

In the military he received training as a mechanical engineer, both at the Carnegie Institute and the University of Tennessee.

< (link...) >

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