The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Vonnegut Dies

I just found out at Yahoo! I gather it was announced around 10:30 PM CDT on the New York Times ticker. Kurt Vonnegut died at age 84. He may have been the most important American writer in from 1960 through his death. I particularly liked his novel "Bluebeard," which I've listed on my blog as among my all-time favorite books. It was serendipity in literature.

We have all heard of, if not read, "Slaughter-House Five or the Children's Crusade." That could very well be one of the most important novels on World War II ever written. One particularly good book, pathos personified, was "Mother Night," which was also finely adapted to a movie of that name starring Nick Nolte (Vonnegut did a cameo, non-speaking appearance). Vonnegut was personally affected by the schizophrenia of several family members, some of whom committed suicide, his mother among them, I think, or it was his wife or perhaps both of them. In an interview I heard of him discussing literature on mental illnesses back five or six years ago, he said that his experiences with that awful disease did as much as his wartime experiences to form his world-view.

In World War II, Vonnegut was a U.S. prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany, captured during the Battle of the Bulge in Dec. 1944. Vonnegut was one of the survivors of the worst non-atomic firebombings in human history in Feb. 1945. Little different in results than the carnage of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the firebombing of Dresden lasted for three days. The fires took much longer to burn out. Around 100,000 Germans and other nationalities held by the Germans in the city were incinerated or suffocated from the phenomenon of human-made "firestorms."

Vonnegut certainly saw a lot. He wrote what he saw and said what he felt--about truth, beauty, faith, justice, and all of their ugly, tribal opposites.



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