Jul 19, 2007

Hommage to Kurt 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."
Kurt Vonnegut

This is a collaboration/suggestion sent by Jarek Janio, a friend that I have not met yet that lives (and teaches) in California.

I am glad to follow this suggestion to pay a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut, because while I admit I haven't read Vonnegut's novels, I have read some of his short stories, essays and interviews and I enjoy immensely his sense of humor.

Some of that sense of humor is clearly shown in an interview with the Rolling Stones, being one of my favorite parts:

"...Vonnegut starts coughing, clearing his throat of phlegm, grasping for a half-smoked pack of Pall Malls lying on a coffee table. He quickly lights up. His wheezing ceases. I ask him whether he worries that cigarettes are killing him. "Oh, yes," he answers, in what is clearly a set-piece gag. "I've been smoking Pall Mall unfiltered cigarettes since I was twelve or fourteen. So I'm going to sue the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company, who manufactured them. And do you know why?"

- "Lung cancer?" I offer.

"No. No. Because I'm eighty-three years old. The lying bastards! On the package Brown & Williamson promised to kill me. Instead, their cigarettes didn't work. Now I'm forced to suffer leaders with names like Bush and Dick and, up until recently, 'Colon.'"

He was still writing for "In These Times" until his death, early this year. Here is their tribute to him: Thank you Mr Vonnegut

He disdained everything about the Iraq War. The very notion that more than 2,500 U.S. soldiers have been killed in what he sees as an unnecessary conflict made him groan. 'Honestly, I wish Nixon were president,' Vonnegut laments. 'Bush is so ignorant.'"

If you want to read more from him, here you can find a small collection of his latest articles.

1 comment:

Jarek said...

Tribute to Vonnegut continued: