Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Kurt Vonnegut wrote novels. He also wrote plays and short stories and essays. This is what Kurt Vonnegut looked like:

Kurt Vonnegut didn't get his first book published until he was in his late 30s. It was called the Sirens Of Titan. It was a science fiction novel. But Kurt Vonnegut wasn't classified as a science fiction writer. So it goes.

Kilgore Trout was classified as a science fiction writer. Kilgore Trout appeared in most of Kurt Vonnegut's novels. Kurt Vonnegut called Kilgore Trout his "alter ego" and "someone he used to be." Kilgore Trout was not a very successful writer. Kurt Vonnegut was a very successful writer.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a very successful book called Breakfast of Champions. I didn't like that book very much. I think he deliberately wrote it to see how self-referential and obnoxiously self-indulgent he could make it and still get people to fall all over themselves praising it. A lot of people fell all over themselves praising Breakfast of Champions. So it goes.

I didn't start reading Kurt Vonnegut until I was in my early thirties. I could see the influence Kurt Vonnegut had had on writers like Stephen King and Douglas Adams. Kurt Vonnegut's books are funny as hell, cynical and pessimistic, with a heartbreaking streak of humanity that makes you wish the world made sense. I've only read a few of his books. I plan to read them all. There won't be any more.

Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday. He smoked, he drank, he had seen a lot of the world, and he was 84 years old.

So it goes.

I am sad too. But we have almost a complete collection to get us through.
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