I missed the “Slaughterhouse Five” train, was late for the Sirens of Titan’s bus, was too early to understand the Mother’s Night tour, but I was right on time for the “We are what we want to” meeting. Yes, it seems like Vonnegut books have been hunting me for years. Not that I am complaining, Mr. Vonnegut is one of those authors who leaves you speechless. A man possibly of few words, but one who leaves a deep impact. He reminds me of Hemmingway but less, lost to the world and more, trying to understand why the world feels so lost and how it became that way.
Words to live by: “Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.'”
He is a perfect example of a person who understood the meaning of life and hoped others would too. Every book, piece writing, or the moment he wrote/experienced, he wanted others to connect with certain aspects of life, even if it meant connecting with a nonliving thing. “So it goes” a famous quote from Slaughterhouse-five is simplistic and complex, complex because it makes you think about life and what your next step should be, but simple because the quote simply emphasises the ability to realize that things happen, life goes on, and what you do in that moment is all that counts. You deal with your issues because you have too.
As an author, Vonnegut career went well over 50yrs and even years after his death, he’s greatly impacted his generation and future generations alike. With 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction, the author, speaker, and activist has expressed and explored varies aspects of life, often writing about war and resistance, Vonnegut was able to open up a platform and dialogue about various social justice topics and demonstrate that he was a man of action, getting involved in various facades of the rights movements and encouraging individuals around him to speak. Kurt Vonnegut lived a life worthy of a man who wanted to understand the meaning of life and help those around him to explore the same thing.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. held increasing sway during the second half of the twentieth century as a hero of the 1960s counter-culture. These youthful among baby-boomers were politically leftist, pro-civil rights, pro-women’s rights, and developing a green world ethic resulting in such demonstrations as Earth Day.
Some Books To Add To Your Collection: These are seven books you may be familiar with or just might want to add to your collection.
- Welcome to the Monkey House
- Bagombo Snuff Box
- Canary in a Cat House
- Mother Night
Recommended Book: We Are What We Pretend To Be: The First and Last Works
It’s his last work: Protagonist Gil Berman is a middle-aged college lecturer and self-declared stand-up comedian who enjoys cracking jokes in front of a college audience while societal dependence on fossil fuels has led to the apocalypse. Described by Vonnegut as, “the stand-up comedian on Doomsday,” Gil is a character formed from Vonnegut’s own rich experiences living in a reality Vonnegut himself considered inevitable. Along with the two works of fiction, Vonnegut’s daughter, Nanette shares reminiscences about her father and commentary on these two works—both exclusive to this edition. via Good Reads
Note: What’s interesting about this piece is that, it has a dark humor to it, it’s filled with his first and last work so you get to see the author in a different light. The theme also allows the audience to view themselves as the characters and the place in the book. Who are we and what are we trying to achieve.
Which is what made Vonnegut and his work so greatly admired, even with its fiction it had a factual undertone and at times was relatable, it makes you think of the person you are and the one you wish to become.
Check out his interview via Open Culture: Kurt Vonnegut Gives Advice to Aspiring Writers in a 1991 TV Interview