Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007
Could this be the end of the 1960's. The author of protest of my generation, Kurt Vonnegut died. He is best known for his novel" Slaughterhouse -Five". It was based on his witnessing, as a prisoner of war the wanton destruction of the German city of Dresden in 1945. It was a must read for my generation in the midst of protesting the American destruction of the country of Vietnam.
Vonnegut, a life long Socialist in the tradition of Eugene Debs and AJ Muste, has been an observer and critic of the World he lived in, to the very end of his life. Kurt Vonnegut at 81 - Still punching!!! based on his last book, "A Man Without a Country" At one time in represented those of us who were critical but only because we had a vision of the boundless possibilites for good of the Great Republic. That critical optimism has been destroyed by the cynical ideology of neo-conservatism. Perhaps, a new generation will read Vonnegut and find hope for the future in criticism and activism.
The New York Times wrote a nice article on Vonnegut and his contribution to American literature and culture. Kurt Vonnegut, Novelist Who Caught the Imagination of His Age, Is Dead at 84 -
I spent yesterday reading some of Vonnegut's writings. Here is a source of some articles
KURT VONNEGUT: Archives Index if you are moved to do likewise.
And, here is a video piece by Lori Harfenist,the charming host/creator of The Resident, a new York cable show.
YouTube - Kurt Vonnegut is The Resident's People Lori presents some of Vonnegut's ideas in a sound bite way.
I met Kurt Vonnegut, in 1967, when he lived on Cape Cod. It was a interesting and charming encounter. I remember is fondly. We discussed Horatio Alger who had just been exposed as a pedophile from the record of the Unitarian church in Barstable, where he once was the minister. (How is that for an iconoclastic revelation of the American myth of Horatio Alger.) He will be remembered for years to come as a voice for his generation. He is worth a re-read.