April 12, 2007

God Bless You Mr. Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut
November 11, 1922 - April 11, 2007

I started reading Vonnegut when I was in college in '97. Like many other readers, it was his most widely acclaimed Slaughterhouse-Five that introduced me to him. Then it was Breakfast of Champions that hooked me. In this author, I experienced a style of writing that to me was endearing. It wasn't flowery or pretty. It was plain and truthful. It was irreverent at times, but honest to his heart. Best of all, it was funny. I just noticed I am using past tense here - not because he is gone, but more because I'm reliving those first days of my Vonnegut-discovery. I am tempted to say I'll miss him, but I didn't know him personally. What I know of him I read in his books, which are still with me and available to be read and reread. I am sad to realize, however, that there will be no more new releases. No more original chicken-scratch illustrations. But, "so it goes," he would have said.

So it goes.

Dear Mr. Vonnegut:
You once said that "a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive, at least a little bit." You should know that I put you in this category of artists, just as you do The Beatles.

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