Thursday, April 12, 2007

in memorium, Kurt Vonnegut

I try to keep this blog dedicated to professional issues, but I cannot let Kurt Vonnegut's passing go unmentioned.

I discovered Vonnegut early in my high school career. I read everything I could easily and affordably get my hands on, and I still have those paperback editions today. I just checked my LibraryThing and I have 16 Vonnegut volumes, only one a duplicate title.

I was one of those serious, artsy teenagers who spent her senior year of high school reading serious fiction at coffee houses when I wasn't in classes or working in theater production or painting. I identified with the title characters of "Harrison Bergeron" and "Who am I This Time?". I don't know how many times I read Breakfast of Champions, which I find one of his most humorous books along with Slapstick. Cat's Cradle, Player Piano, and Slaughterhouse Five are my other favorites of his novels. Vonnegut's work is the definitive example of black humor for me. His work was my first encounter with metafiction and with non-linear narrative.

I want to take the rest of the week off to go home and start re-reading it all.

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