Thursday, April 12, 2007

RIP Kurt Vonnegut

This morning I was sad to hear that Kurt Vonnegut had died. I began reading Kurt Vonnegut in Jr. High, probably 8th or 9th grade. I started with Breakfast of Champions because it was lying around the house and the cover was so cool. I was maybe thirteen years old, much too young to appreciate what I was reading. It set a standard for me that was pretty high, though, and set me apart from my friends in a way that I wasn't always happy about and don't think I ever got over. I think it fed into my cynical worldview also, for better or worse. When I got round to reading Slaughterhouse Five, sometime in high school, circumstances in my life made me relate to his writing in a way that solidified my love for his books. It was a welcome escape for me and I read everything of his that I could get my hands on. I have not read Vonnegut for many years now but I think I will this summer and see how it translates to my "grown up" self. I am sad. Although he was 84 and perhaps lived a good long life it sounds like the circumstances of his death took him prematurely.