R.I.P. Kurt Vonnegut Jr



Kurt Vonnegut has come unstuck from life.

So it goes. Hi ho. Poo-tee-weet?


"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." KVJr


"Napalm, incidentally, is a gift to civilization from the chemistry department of Harvard University." KVJr.


"Humor is an almost physiological response to fear." KVJr.


"Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe." KVJr.


"The only difference between [George W.] Bush and [Adolf] Hitler is that Hitler was elected." KVJr.


"No damn cat, and no damn cradle." KVJr.


Lot's more quotes here and here.


Fuck, I loved Vonnegut, the corny doom-obsessed guy with the bitter wisdom and gut-feeling philosophy. I have almost everything he ever wrote, somewhere in various family stashes, worn of cover and dog-eared of page. Stained, reread, laughed and cried over again and again.

Here was a man who was everything that it is good to be, whose death is a total injustice. Childishly complex, cynically optimistic, depressingly funny, laughingly pessimistic, a serious wiseguy, the everpopular outcast, cult and mainstream simultaneously.

If only he could write.

He was the canary in the coal-mine, and now he has stopped singing, finally, forever.

He taught me all that I thought I needed to know about America, that is, until I actually met some Americans. Until that time, America may as well have been the Planet Tralfamadore.

Now I know that it IS the Planet Tralfamadore and its self-elected President is dead..



Posted by: expat@large on Apr 12, 07 | 1:28 pm | Profile


A delightful writer. Rest in peace Kurt.

Posted by: Dick on Apr 13, 07 | 12:01 am

"Napalm, incidentally, is a gift to civilization from the chemistry department of Harvard University." that is priceless :)

Posted by: Scorpy on Apr 13, 07 | 11:14 am

He was a priceless man.

Was up all night watching video interviews and documentaries on Comedy Central and YouTube. Just search for kurt vonnegut.

I said the following in a comment in Dick's blog:

...I had just mentioned Unamuno's aphorism about aiming for one's death to be seen as an injustice. Kurt surely ruffled a lot feathers in his time, but I believe the world is a lesser place without him and that we needed him. An injustice in my book, is when such a prophet tells the simple true story, and as the complexities swirl about us, we fail to see that one simple trend he was warning us about all that time come down and crush us.

He died I fear, like his homomorph, Mark Twain, rather a mysanthropical old curmedgeon who said basically, "I've given it my best shot, but you've gone on making fools of yourselves, killing each other and the planet, and you're all a bunch selfish, cruel bastards and I turn my back on the lot of you." And so he should. We are cunts, one and all.

I say a prayer to his personal deity, the one true Utterly Indifferent God... becasue I am, I hope, not indifferent myself... maybe more than a bit because of Kurt Vonnegut and his life and works.

I tip my rum and coke to him, and to you.


Posted by: expat@large on Apr 13, 07 | 11:39 am


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