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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Kurt Vonnegut

By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas. Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut died Wednesday night in Manhattan. He was 84. Twenty years ago I met him in York when he took a day and a half off his European tour. He was a consistently accurate critical thinker, an influential and hard-working novelist and a great human being with a sense of humour that never failed. If it’s at all possible from where he is, he’ll carry on putting it out.

4 Responses to “Kurt Vonnegut”

  1. Paul says:

    I openly envy you. What was he like?

    jb says: Paul, he was exactly like you’d imagine. He spoke about many things which only surfaced years later in his novels. He allowed ideas to gestate for a long time. Slaughterhouse Five finally appeared in 1969. He’d been hatching it since 1945.

  2. John, how did I miss this? I waited for you to post something.
    Here is what I wrote when Vonnegut died. I wanted to show you:

    “When a great man of letters dies, there is sadness, at the loss of his goodness. Perhaps more from a fleeting time that may catch him in his prime and one that labels mortality a fearful fragility. A writer must write all he can in the short rein given to man with the roll of his pen that lends the joys of his voice, before the sunset calls and the walls that hide the planet rise. And then it would be his time too to go asunder as life gently made room for another. And so when a writer dies.”

    jb says: I suppose it’s because he was such a generous man himself, that the rest of us feel so generous towards him.

  3. Micromonkey says:

    I first encountered Vonnegut’s work when I was 13. It had a profound influence on my life then and to this day. That he is no longer with us is something that frequently saddens me, I’m hugely jealous you were lucky enough to meet the man himself.

    jb says: Oh, he’s still around, MM.