Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, 1922 –2007

When I was in high school, I was a huge Kurt Vonnegut fan. Then I drifted away from the "white male" school of literature. Although it's amazing how much those white males actually understood. One thinks of them as being self-absorbed, indifferent to -- if not contemptuous of -- anybody who's not like them. But (even with these constraints) some of them were able to understand human nature, and many of them in fact experienced suffering. Strange, that.

Anyway, a couple Vonnegut quotes have stayed with me:
A gun is a tool for killing people with.

Like Joseph Conrad, English is my second language. Unfortunately I don't have a first one.

I read that he described himself as a pacifist, which not many people dare to do these days. One imagines that getting firebombed in Dresden had something to do with that. Although I'm a pacifist too, and I've never been firebombed. But one of the benefits of being human is the ability to learn from other people's experiences.

Kurt Vonnegut, y'all.

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