Kurt Vonnegut dies aged 84

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St John the Blasphemist
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Kurt Vonnegut dies aged 84

Postby St John the Blasphemist » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:10 pm

The best Bruce Willis (and Nick Nolte) movie I ever saw was Breakfast Of Champions.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote:I'm embarrassed to have lived this long. It's in terrible taste (laughs). You know I had a fire several years ago, and it would have been so shapely if I'd died in the fire. But here I am, and of course I'm suing the cigarette company because on the package they promised to kill me, and here I am.

Radio transcript here.

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Postby EarthRise » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:50 pm

So it goes.
[...] the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory.


Postby Amerigo » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:06 pm

A sad day.

Wilson and now him - the ending of an era.

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Postby ken worley » Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:12 pm

I learned a lot growing up from his books.
Especially how to not take the surface or "given" explanation for everything.

One of my favorite Vonnegutt writings (which I can't seem to locate anywhere online) was the text of a speech he gave to an association of psychiatric professionals.

It was a self-congratulatory convention, and they had paid for a vonnegutt speech to honor themselves.

Vonnegut delivered a speech that featured a fictional account of a young nazi concentration camp guard being "cured" by his shrink of depression and angst. It featured the punchline, "If you hadn't come to me when you did, your doubts and fears would have continued to grow, and eventually, you may have even entertained thoughts of killing Hitler!"(I am paraphrasing)

It was a typical vonnegutt move, leading them down the garden path, only to point out with a short and funny story that the whole concept of psychiatry is pretty much a sham.

Whenever I see one of his books lying somewhere, I can pick it up, begin reading at any point inside, and lose all track of time..Very few, if any, other authors I can say that about.

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Postby Cardinal Queequeg » Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:34 pm

"Listen, Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time".

I only hope that like Billy, so has Kurt.

As EarthRise said: "So it goes."

Hi Ho.

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Postby Duke » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:35 am

I'm going to miss him. I think we've got similar senses of humor.

"In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards."

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--Woody Allen

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Postby jmb » Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:10 am

If you're like me, and you read a lot of his great novels when you were in High School, then pick up his last book "A Man Without A Country."

It's a short little book, with small pages and not many words per page, but as he talks about life as an old man in New York, growing up as a Humanist/Free Thinker, contemporary US politics, and American society, he shows he's still got the keen wit to be quotable and memorable in what he writes.

He also shares what would have been his last novel, to be called "If God Were Alive Today." He gave up on completing it (shame, it's a great title...), but in "A Man Without A Country" he treats us to a sample of the story and a synopsis of what would have happened in it.

I think this little book is a must-read for all of his true fans.


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Sad he's gone

Postby Zaoldyeck » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:07 pm

I was so sad when I heard the news, he is/was my favorite author. But, he did at least live a full life of wonderful literary masterpieces.
Any ideas expressed on this post should not be taken as representing Mr. Lehrer's, err, Mr. Zaoldyeck's true convictions, for indeed he has none. "If anyone objects to any statement I make," he has said, "I am quite prepared not only to retract it, but also to deny under oath that I ever made it."

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Postby black bart » Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:57 am

I have only read 'Slaughterhouse 5' which is superb.
The smoke wafted gently in the breeze across the poop deck and all seemed right in the world.

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Re: Vonnegut

Postby Taidje Khan » Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:16 pm

black bart wrote:I have only read 'Slaughterhouse 5' which is superb.

If you're looking for a recommendation, I suggest Breakfast of Champions or Cat's Cradle. They are the most commonly read, and fairly typical of his style. Also, Palm Sunday is a collection of his essays and speeches in case you prefer a more segmented read.

If you're not looking for a recommendation, please disregard.
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