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Kurt Vonnegut - American Master Of Literature
Kurt Vonnegut -Master Of American Literature
One of the better books that I'd ever laid my dollar bills on a counter to collect is called Three By Vonnegut, and it is a book that contains the three most well known short novels by the finest American satirist the nation was ever so lucky to receive. We live in a dumb world, everyone seems to be a bumbling idiot, buffoon, fool, or some sort of materialist retard that believes and does what they are told to do - everyone seems to be stupid, and in the novels of Kurt Vonnegut, everyone pretty much is.
...but the Man, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., was anything BUT stupid, and he was from a family that was full of non fools like himself.
Of course Kurt Vonnegut would lead quite an interesting and lucky life, and so he shared the luck with us all by taking the time to create his fiction. Thank God for the underground slaughterhouse in Dresden, Germany that housed the great literary genius, Kurt Vonnegut; while the Americans stupidly, and out of pure revenge murdered hundreds of thousands of German citizens, and an entire city which held no strategic significance at all for the already defeated Nazis.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. US Army, World War Two
Dresden, Germany - Before And After Allied Mass Murder
Kurt Vonnegut On "Cat's Cradle," And Personal Responsibility
The Early Life Of Kurt Vonnegut
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana to a family of brilliant German Americans, Kurt was a junior, and would later in life drop the tag on his name when his father would pass away. The Vonnegut men were all extremely bright, and not just anyone gets into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but Kurt the author would go instead to Cornell after graduating high school in 1940, and there he would study chemistry while also contributing to the university newspaper. War, of course, was alive in both Europe and Asia, so Kurt would enlist in the army.
It should be noted here that German Americans were often under a good deal of stress during the second world war - many of them were thought to possibly be secret Nazis, The army would transfer Kurt to the Carnegie Institute of Technology , and then to the University Of Tennessee, as they wanted Kurt studying mechanical engineering. His mother swallowed a lot of sleeping pills, and killed herself - Kurt was 21 years old - it was Mother's day, 1944.
Kurt Vonnegut would ship off for Europe for the allied invasion and sweep into Nazi Germany, and his life would be forever changed by what he'd witness with his own eyes, and later, his literature would be something inseparably entwined with the mind of an intellectual that had witnessed madness on a grand scale
Young Kurt Vonnegut Jr. would be captured by the Nazis, and he'd be made head of the allied POWs in the Nazi camp for a while simply because he could speak some German, and was an ethnic German; but Kurt would lose that position in a spate of young buck bravado - all the fresh POWs had known that the Russian army was advancing from the East, and that the allies were already in Germany was obvious, Kurt himself had been captured on German soil, so he'd spoke a bit about what he'd do to the Nazis himself when it was all over, even a brilliant man of that age is often foolish with testosterone, so Kurt was beaten, and lost his bit of prison position.
The quarters and location for Kurt Vonnegut's prisoner of war experience would become something of fact and literary legend - the group of prisoners were housed n an old underground slaughterhouse, and number five - and because of this, they'd survive the never justified allied war crime, the mass slaughter of the civilian population of Dresden, Germany - a city with absolutely nothing in the way of military significance.
"There were too many corpses to bury. So instead the Germans sent in troops with flamethrowers. All these civilians' remains were burned to ashes." - Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five, and is a central theme in at least six of Kurt's books, and besides that, the novel of the same name is something of a masterpiece of not just American literature - but somehing even larger, world literature. In that novel Kurt Vonnegut would meld history and literature, satire, and science fiction - how fitting that the novel would shake the minds and imaginations of the most sentient persons living! The great irony, that wars involve teams of heroes and villains on opposing sides, that stupid bit of duelist myth died in Dresden. Germany: and though the truth surely lived prior to Kurt Vonnegut's novel - another child of the cold hard truth was born with it.
Kurt Vonnegut - The Shapes Of Stories!
While the imaginative works of Kurt Vonnegut are all very serious works, the author himself manages to incorporate such humor within those works that the reader is often affected in profound ways - so I've concluded personally that satire is superior to direct criticism of anything, I'll not ever forget or get tired of Cat's Cradle, and as Vonnegut's first major success; it sets the tone for the student of the author, and then more and higher standards than any previous writers of American stock than, perhaps any before him
The great novel concerns academic and scientific indifference, profound lacking of personal responsibility within the corporate ethos, and telling observations concerning the role that religion so often plays in the lives of the modern human. While I think Kurt Vonnegut had a profoundly effective way of criticizing modern society - I also see no possibility of emulating such a highly personal style. My opinion is that when a reader recognizes the technique, that is enough, and the lesson learned.
Cat's Cradle is one of the greatest works of fiction, in my opinion, in all of history - and I'll sat THAT fewer times than most who bother to write about literature, from ice-nine, to Bokononism - Kurt Vonnegut was a master story teller with the highest order of principles imaginable.
Kurt Vonnegut, anti corporate Humanist hero, also worked, briefly, for Sports Illustrated, and contributed the magazine it's due from such a superior intellect on a story about a runaway race horse-after staring at the blank piece of paper on his typewriter all morning, he typed,
"The horse jumped over the fucking fence," and then he left!
Nobel Prize Winner Bernard Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut - Personal Life And Death, Other Particulars
Of course I've already mentioned that the family Vonnegut was full of brilliance benefiting humanity, and Kurt's brother Bernard certainly did us all terrific service, just as Kurt had. Bernard was a Nobel prize winner, and he invented cloud seeding, which if you don't know, allows us to instigate rain.
Kurt always attended massive social and political issues with his writing and his speaking - but his true beauty showed in the way he almost never attacked specific persons, Kurt went after issues!
"By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East?" he wrote. "Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas."
Vonnegut described himself variously as a skeptic, freethinker, humanist, Unitarian Universalist, agnostic, and atheist., He disbelieved in the supernatural, considered religious doctrine to be "so much arbitrary, clearly invented balderdash," and believed people were motivated by loneliness to join religions - I can assure you that of all the persons past or present fitting those descriptions, Kurt Vonnegut is my second favorite, and likely the only one that I'll get away with gushing my admiration over on this website - I'm none of those things, but I still very much benefit from the mind of Kurt Vonnegut.
Kurt Vonnegut had married his high school sweetheart after returning from Europe in world war two, they remained together until 1970, and then Kurt became an item with photographer Jill Krementz, and they married in 1979. Kurt would raise seven children, three of them his own, three adopted from his sister following her death from cancer, and another child he and his second wife adopted together.
Two of Kurt's children became published authors, and his first wife, Jane Marie Cox, would also publish a book, and hers was about the Family Vonnegut, Angels Without Wings: A Courageous Family's Triumph Over Tragedy.
Kurt Vonnegut was also a graphic artist of great talent,honorary president of the American Humanist Association, and an ardent supporter of the ACLU.
A lifelong smoker, Vonnegut smoked unfiltered Pall Mall cigarettes, a habit he referred to as a "classy way to commit suicide," he'd also threatened to sue, as the ciggarette boxes stated that he'd die from smoking, and into his 80's in years, they hadn't. On November 11, 1999, an asteroid was named in Vonnegut's honor: 25399 Vonnegut.
"This is a very bad book you're writing," I said to myself.
"I know," I said.
"You're afraid you'll kill yourself the way your mother did," I said.
"I know," I said.
Honesty most brutal, brilliance unmatched, recuring themes and characters - the literature of Kurt Vonnegut had all of that, and more than I could name.
Vonnegut died on April 11, 2007 after falling down a flight of stairs in his home and suffering massive head trauma. Love conquers a multitude of sins, and Kurt Vonnegut seemed to have loved us all, Kurt was one of the rarest types of persons to affect my life, a man that lived and preached atheism, may he rest in peace.