RIP Kurt Vonnegut

This is very sad news: Novelist Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84

Certainly, he was one of the great lights of contemporary American literature.

Some quotes from Vonnegut:

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.

If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.


literary bohemian said...

What is your favorite Vonnegut book?

LK said...

Slaughterhouse Five.

I want to read Man Without a Country.

Anybody else out there want to share their fave Vonnegut tales?

Stefanie said...

Sad isn't it? I've read Slaughterhouse Five, and loved it, and various essays in various magazines.

Estella said...

Wonderful quotes for a very sad day.


Courtney said...

I thought of you as soon as I saw this information today! It's a very sad day today, made even sadder when one realizes he'll get about .00008 of the attention that american idol idiot gets every week.

iliana said...

Thank you for sharing those quotes. They are great. I have not read any Vonnegut - yes, hangs head in shame.

Litlove said...

I've never read any Vonnegut either - could you possibly suggest the right place to begin?

Shana said...

I hadn't heard about Vonnegut's death. Very sad. I have only read his books of short stories, somehow never got to his longer stuff, but I LOVE Welcome to the Monkey House!

LK said...

Litlove, I haven't read his essays in Man Without a Country (though, thankfully, I just ordered a copy two weeks ago), and that might be a good place to start. Otherwise, you might want to start with the seminal Slaughterhouse-Five. I've heard good things about Cat's Cradle, which is one of his later novels. Breaksfast of Champions, an earlier work, is also good.

LK said...

Correction on the order of his works (via The Blog Jar, http://blogjar.blogspot.com/)- Cat's Cradle is from 1963, with Breakfast of Champions from 1973.

Dark Orpheus said...

This one rings a bell with me: "Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."

I always associate him with this ironic laughter/sadness.

"Mother Night" was the only Vonnegut I've read, though it was really sad. Never got around to reading the others. I'm ashamed.

Why does it take death to get us to finally read an author?