12 April 2007


Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. passes away

Vonnegut, more than any other single author, is largely responsible for my interest in writing and literature. Part of me thinks I should be sad, but then I remember a lesson I once learned from Billy Pilgrim:

"The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.

"When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is 'So it goes.'" -- Slaughterhouse-five

So it goes, Kurt. So it goes.


johanna said...

since so many 9 am's have found me unable to put down a Vonnegut tome after having been up all night with its peculiar fascination, it makes sense that i find this news so early as well.

and people will be puzzling out Kurt's novels for ages, i think, if the current evidence regarding the simple number of novels the man wrote holds any portentous power: the denver post cited 19 novels and the Times 14; and, as far as I can tell, they are both in need of some remedial math. lol.