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cmccarten
Apr 11, 2007, 11:22 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/books/11cnd-vonnegut.html?pagewanted=2&hp

it was a pleasure to read you. thanks for introducing me to the world of ideas when i was just a young boy.

from cat's cradle
"Tiger got to hunt
Bird got to fly
Man got to sit and wonder 'Why, why, why?'

Tiger got to sleep
Bird got to land
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

and from man without a country (a really stirring and emotional read)
"When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
perhaps
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
“It is done.”
People did not like it here."

SMM
Apr 11, 2007, 11:35 PM
What a trip. Today when I was posting on the un-American thread, I thought of using his Tralagafornians as an example of people who cover their ears, and make loud sounds, so they would not have to listen to untruths. However, I did not know how to spell 'Tralagafornians' (still do not), and did not want to have to explain who they were. But, it got me thinking about Kurt. I had a very enjoyable 2+ hour muse about the man and his writing. Thanks for sharing, Kurt! I really enjoyed taking those journeys with you. RIP! ;)

solvs
Apr 11, 2007, 11:58 PM
One of my favorite authors. I loved his style. Still have a book he wrote on how to be a better writer. Changed my life.

Just saw him on the Daily Show not too long ago. He didn't look so good, but was still able to get out a few zingers. He will definitely be missed.

So it goes... :(

IJ Reilly
Apr 12, 2007, 12:07 AM
Anybody who could invent Bokononism can't be all bad.

Bon voyage, Kurt Vonnegut.

Am3822
Apr 12, 2007, 05:55 AM
Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84 (http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,2055226,00.html)

A sad day.

miloblithe
Apr 12, 2007, 06:49 AM
Indeed. Great writer. Definitely one of my favorites when I was younger.

Sdashiki
Apr 12, 2007, 07:52 AM
Sigh.

:eek:

:(

:o

:rolleyes:

;)

:D

Abstract
Apr 12, 2007, 07:58 AM
Are there any great writers around right now to take his place in our world? What, no volunteers?

:o

localoid
Apr 12, 2007, 08:13 AM
Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84 (http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,2055226,00.html)

He's not dead. He's just "unstuck in time."

A sad day.

For those of us still "stuck"... yes. :(

jruc4871
Apr 12, 2007, 08:53 AM
"The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the
past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will
exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.

"When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition at that particular moment, but that the
same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the
Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is 'So it goes.'"

- Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Slaughterhouse-Five

RedTomato
Apr 12, 2007, 10:48 AM
Enjoy your trip to Traflamadore, Kurt.

I wrote various sci-fi / imaginative stories inspired by you when I was a teenager.

You've contributed to my feelings of 'oddness' as I sit in modern society, looking at the absurdities and kind humanities around me.

So it goes.

RIP.

princealfie
Apr 12, 2007, 11:02 AM
Are there any great writers around right now to take his place in our world? What, no volunteers?

:o

Of course, we have many

Cormac McCarthy
Don Delillo
Thomas Pynchon

and many others out of this country

Vladimir Sorokin, etc. etc.

IJ Reilly
Apr 12, 2007, 11:39 AM
I heard Vonnegut say many years ago that he never revised anything he wrote, that it all came out the first time just as he wanted it. Possibly this was a function of his view of life as an array of random events and tragicomic anarchy, but it always amazed me nonetheless. It takes tremendous discipline, talent and courage for a writer to say "this is as perfect as it gets" with a first draft -- and produce good and even great writing as a result.

Sdashiki
Apr 12, 2007, 12:05 PM
One could at least say, he had a way with words.

So it goes.

mac 2005
Apr 12, 2007, 05:21 PM
Are there any great writers around right now to take his place in our world? What, no volunteers?

:o

There are great writers, but I daresay that Vonnegut's combination of laugh-out-loud humor, inconsolable despair, righteous anger and boundless compassion is unique in ways that will probably never be equaled.

synth3tik
Apr 12, 2007, 05:25 PM
Second only to Burroughs in my opinion. One of the few writers that could really get me involved with writing.

IJ Reilly
Apr 12, 2007, 05:54 PM
Only a dozen posts to mark the passing of the great Kurt Vonnegut. Ah well. I suppose he never did appear on American Idol.

skunk
Apr 12, 2007, 05:59 PM
RIP. Another victim of a synchronoclastic infundibulum, I fear. :(

rdowns
Apr 12, 2007, 06:24 PM
Only a dozen posts to mark the passing of the great Kurt Vonnegut. Ah well. I suppose he never did appear on American Idol.

or call anyone a nappy headed ho.

RIP Mr. Vonnegut- thanks for the great reads.

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
Kurt Vonnegut

Abstract
Apr 12, 2007, 06:33 PM
Don Delillo
[/QUOTE]

Don't know about the other 2 guys, but Don.......ewwwwww.

solvs
Apr 12, 2007, 06:42 PM
Only a dozen posts to mark the passing of the great Kurt Vonnegut.
Only a handful in the other thread too.

As I said in that one, he was one of my favorite authors. I loved his style. Still have a book he wrote on how to be a better writer. Changed my life.

Just saw him on the Daily Show not too long ago. He didn't look so good, but was still able to get out a few zingers. He will definitely be missed.

So it goes... :(

polevault139
Apr 12, 2007, 06:45 PM
I have bever personally read any of his books, but a friend of mine absolutley loves him. I think I will have to pick up some of his books. Its pretty depressing however to see such an acclaimed writer die. From what I've read lately there arent too many modern day writers that I like as much as some older ones.

thedude110
Apr 12, 2007, 08:56 PM
So it goes... :(


So it goes.





So it goes.

Everything I've come here to say.

So it goes.

MartyMoe
Apr 12, 2007, 10:11 PM
Only a dozen posts to mark the passing of the great Kurt Vonnegut. Ah well. I suppose he never did appear on American Idol.

I just was very busy today and didn't get a chance to post.


He will definitely be missed; while I didn't read all of his works, the stuff I did was very thought-provoking. Just as one example, I recently came across a reference to him and his Ice-Nine, that re-forms what it touches into forming into similar patterns, in reference to Prions.

His ideas will still be around.

And I think "so it goes" is the perfect tribute and he would approve-- and laugh.

Teh Don Ditty
Apr 12, 2007, 10:13 PM
RIP Vonnegut. Thanks for the reads and the inspiration.

So It Goes

afsammie
Apr 12, 2007, 10:13 PM
As soon as I heard, I suddenly felt a little like the air around me was a little more hollow.

He always had a way of reminding me of something I already knew, no matter how fanciful or imagined.

mac 2005
Apr 13, 2007, 01:15 AM
Don Delillo

Don't know about the other 2 guys, but Don.......ewwwwww.

Having had the privilege to meet both Vonnegut and DeLillo -- not to mention the pleasure of reading their work -- I can only dismiss the reasoning, to be polite, that must have gone into your thought-provoking comment.

So not only do you admit to not knowing about two of the finest writers of the 20th century, you discount one of the others with "ewwwwww."

mac 2005
Apr 13, 2007, 01:27 AM
I have bever personally read any of his books, but a friend of mine absolutley loves him. I think I will have to pick up some of his books. Its pretty depressing however to see such an acclaimed writer die. From what I've read lately there arent too many modern day writers that I like as much as some older ones.

PM me your address, and I will send you one of his last and one of his finest books. I live in Chicago, so I am more than happy to share a book of good quality with a fellow Illinois-ian(?). [What exactly are we called?]

Vonnegut's incisive wit and unending humanity leave me using adjectives to describe what an insightful writer we should remember him to be. And, to quote, I think, Mark Twain (the Vonnegut of the 19th century), "An adjective is a good word wasted." Or did Twain say that about golf? "Golf is a good walk wasted."

Anywho, the book is yours if you want it. It's part fiction and part autobiography, but all Vonnegut.

Abstract
Apr 13, 2007, 07:27 AM
By the way, your username is sooooo 2 years ago.

Sdashiki
Apr 13, 2007, 08:28 AM
Tom Robbins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Robbins)is a good Vonnegut surrogate, certainly NO replacement, but dark off the wall humor.

You can do no wrong with:

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Even_Cowgirls_Get_the_Blues)
Still Life with Woodpecker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Still_Life_with_Woodpecker)

mac 2005
Apr 13, 2007, 09:25 AM
I believe I'm allowed to dislike Delillo's work. I think it's nice that you come from a country where people are free to make pointless, unrelated political jabs left and right despite not being relevent to the conversation at all. Good for you, man. Exercise that right. ;).

You're right. You are allowed to dislike DeLillo's work, and I shouldn't have made a stupid political jab. I removed it from my comment, and I publicly apologize for making an irrelevant statement. :o

Abstract
Apr 13, 2007, 09:52 AM
And as an act of courtesy, I deleted my response to what you said, along with the quote, so that nobody has to know about a moody comment you made, the type of comment that we've all made in the past here, maybe without even knowing it. ;)

Of course, by deleting my response to what you said, I am only left with what appears to be a spam post. :p

johnee
Apr 13, 2007, 09:59 AM
a few months ago, I started reading Slaughterhouse 5 and was instantly hooked. After I finished it, I decided to read it again to gain a better understanding. Strange thing is, I finished reading it the second time the same day he died. I'm certainly not saying there is any connection, but I did find it ironic.

I have read a little about Vonnegut, and I know he tried to commit suicide in '84. Reading SH5, I got the feeling he didn't see a distinction between war and everyday living when it comes to human misery. What did you think when you read it?

FrankieTDouglas
Apr 13, 2007, 10:37 AM
I feel like I might cry.

I just bought three Vonnegut books Tuesday at Shakespeare and Company in Paris. I was so excited to have some more books of his to read...

Ah man...

johnee
Apr 13, 2007, 02:05 PM
duh!

my sig used to be :

"Well, here we are Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why..."

I regret changing it.

johnee
Apr 13, 2007, 02:06 PM
I feel like I might cry.

I just bought three Vonnegut books Tuesday at Shakespeare and Company in Paris. I was so excited to have some more books of his to read...

Ah man...

I know, right? I was about to buy a bunch more also. I'll be doing that this weekend, reading them all summer long.

mac 2005
Apr 13, 2007, 02:12 PM
duh!

my sig used to be :

"Well, here we are Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why..."

I regret changing it.

That is a good quote, one that stuck with me. I often think of it, though nearly 20 years have passed since I read the book.

johnee
Apr 13, 2007, 02:19 PM
That is a good quote, one that stuck with me. I often think of it, though nearly 20 years have passed since I read the book.

The first time I read it, I was flat out astounded with it's simplicity but it's ability to explain EVERYTHING. I'm a science geek, and I'm obsessed with randomness, true randomness. The "trapped in amber" phrase says to me that things happen:we can't calculate them and we can't predict them, just like truly random events in nature. "there is no why"... beautiful!

Swarmlord
Apr 13, 2007, 02:28 PM
I read all his intial books in the late seventies and really enjoyed them. I might have to pull them out and reread them.

Legolamb
Apr 13, 2007, 02:42 PM
The closest living author who speaks to me in the same tenor if not the same words is Paul Auster. While I agree Delillo and the other authors have that black humor, Auster gives me the same feeling of displacement.

IJ Reilly
Apr 13, 2007, 03:54 PM
The closest living author who speaks to me in the same tenor if not the same words is Paul Auster. While I agree Delillo and the other authors have that black humor, Auster gives me the same feeling of displacement.

If you haven't already, you might also try Milan Kundera. The book of his that for me had some of the same qualities as Vonnegut is "Immortality."

Legolamb
Apr 13, 2007, 04:24 PM
If you haven't already, you might also try Milan Kundera. The book of his that for me had some of the same qualities as Vonnegut is "Immortality."
Thanks for reminding me of the Eastern European writers. From Kafka on, there were conditions in that part of the world that begged to be read as altered states.

IJ Reilly
Apr 13, 2007, 04:32 PM
Thanks for reminding me of the Eastern European writers. From Kafka on, there were conditions in that part of the world that begged to be read as altered states.

If you like your humor dark, Eastern Europe is the place to look. I've tried reading some of Kundera's other novels without much success -- I think the outlook is just too bleak and nihilistic for most American readers to appreciate (for me anyhow). I think most Vonnegut fans would appreciate "Immortality" though. I also need to pick up Kundera's "Unbearable Lightness of Being" some time. Never read that one.

mac 2005
Apr 13, 2007, 06:40 PM
The closest living author who speaks to me in the same tenor if not the same words is Paul Auster. While I agree Delillo and the other authors have that black humor, Auster gives me the same feeling of displacement.

I read a Paul Auster book a couple of years back, the name of which escapes me. The opening half of the book wherein the man gets trapped in the fallout shelter sometimes comes back into memory--just in time to creep me out so I can't fall asleep. :eek:

Legolamb
Apr 14, 2007, 07:09 PM
I read a Paul Ulster book a couple of years back, the name of which escapes me. The opening half of the book wherein the man gets trapped in the fallout shelter sometimes comes back into memory--just in time to creep me out so I can't fall asleep. :eek:

Paul Auster, Oracle Night.
Sweet dreams.

thedude110
Apr 14, 2007, 09:39 PM
I also need to pick up Kundera's "Unbearable Lightness of Being" some time. Never read that one.

This book absolutely broke my heart. I mean, just so ... almost unreadably emotional. It's a thin book but was a real slow go (which isn't an insult -- it's a wonderful book).

It's beautiful, in craft and in content ... everything about it is beautiful. But it's palpably painful, too.

RonPrice
Apr 14, 2007, 10:54 PM
In 1959, the year I joined the Baha’i Faith, the year I turned 15, Kurt Vonnegut published his second novel The Sirens of Titan. By the late 1960s this novel had become a cult-book of the counter-culture. The genre is novel, sci-fi, space-opera, black humour, satire and fabulation. The story-line, the narrative is based on a world where machines have taken over. The story is told by a future historian. Faith in science, technology and progress is undermined as is humankind’s ability to shape its future. Vonnegut questions the very nature of reality and argues that individuals have the ineluctable responsibility to make meaning out of their lives by looking within not without at organized religions. Looking back after more than forty years, I would place Vonnegut among the first of a "New Wave" of science fiction writers who appeared in the 1960s and who have inhabited one of the many backdrops of my life.-Ron Price with thanks to Herbert G. Klein, "Kurt Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan and the Question of Genre," EESE 5/98.


I had heard those enchanting sirens1
back in the fifties; little did I know
about their sharp rocks, the perils
of chronic and committed rapture,
growing dedication, deeper belief--
that would be later.

I’ve seen many draw near
to those voices and, yes,
I’ve seen them shipwrecked.
For these sirens were daughters
(so the myth goes)2 of the sea
and river gods, Nymphs partly
bird and partly human.


Yes, their voices enchant,
but be warned: this journey
to their island home is not
for the timid & overwrought,
not for the vainly pious,
the pusillanimous of spirit,
not for those who think this
is some kind of vacation,
who seem somehow to have
missed the point that:
this ardent, often tiring, voyage
on this unvariable storm-lashed brig
with the unseasonable rains,
the sweet song of the dove,
the bird, the clear beauty
of the siren’s notes is mostly distant,
on some far-off island, faintly heard,
but they sweep me out to sea
and in full consent I drown,
though I do not like all the journey.3

I wish you well, Kurt, in your journey
which, as Shelley called it, now goes
to that undiscovered country.
____________________________

1 I first heard the Baha’i Writings in the years 1953 to 1959. These are the sirens, for me.
2 This poem also draws on the Greek myth of the Sirens, part bird and part human.
3 I thank Roger White and his poems "Parable for the Wrong People" and "Sightseeing"(Pebbles, pp.69-75) for some of his phraseology.

Ron Price
December 20th 2004
Updated: 13/4/07.

IJ Reilly
Apr 15, 2007, 11:53 AM
This book absolutely broke my heart. I mean, just so ... almost unreadably emotional. It's a thin book but was a real slow go (which isn't an insult -- it's a wonderful book).

It's beautiful, in craft and in content ... everything about it is beautiful. But it's palpably painful, too.

I will brace myself.

And thanks for the tribute, RonPrice.

Legolamb
Apr 15, 2007, 03:10 PM
...The story is told by a future historian.
.......
but they sweep me out to sea
and in full consent I drown,
though I do not like all the journey.3


And a toast to you, Ron