12 April 2007

In Memorium: Kurt Vonnegut

To be honest, Kurt Vonnegut's writing has never been my favorite. Since going to college, I found my tastes to be better suited to the elaborate, stylistic writings of Dickens and most recently and passionately, Conan Doyle. But there is something about Kurt Vonnegut's passing that stuck with me today. And it seems to have stuck or at least struck a number of other people as well.

Many of the faculty joke with me that they hear about someone's death and by the time they arrive on campus at 9:00 am, I have a display up commerating them. Today, it was 11:00 am. When I went down to the stack to pull our Vonnegut holdings, I stopped though.

That is what Vonnegut has always been for me: the kind of writer that made you stop and think. I remember reading Cat's Cradle for the first time and despite the darkness and absurdity of the revolution (for isn't that the case with most revolutions), I distinctly remember the way in which lovers connected: by pressing the soles of their feet together. By connecting through their connection to our world. Perhaps that is why it was the first book I ever lent to my now husband, Jon. For the simplicity and profundity of the connection. For its romanticism from a writer I consider mostly unromantic. However, that being said, the Times articles I read today while preparing my display of Vonnegut's work commented "To Vonnegut, the only possible redemption for the madness and apparent meaninglessness of existence was human kindness." So apt.

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