Kurt Vonnegut: So it goes

Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007


"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the
winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about
a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies – `God damn
it, you’ve got to be kind.’ "

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater -1965



I was huge Kurt Vonnegut fan in high school and college. I devoured most of his novels:  Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle, Player Piano, Sirens of Titan, Mother Night, Galapagos, Breakfast of Champions.

His site is here — Vonnegut.com. And there’s an interesting unofficial Vonnegut site here: vonnegutweb.com

And boinboing has a nice collection of links . . .

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. day4night commented on Apr 12

    What a fantastic man. May he rest in peace.

  2. Grodge commented on Apr 12

    Vonnegut was a fan of Mark Twain, and named his son after him. Like Twain, his novels gave fundamental truths a uniquely Midwestern voice.

    He’ll be missed.

  3. scowmqn commented on Apr 12

    He was the guy who said it is the duty of government to provide “meaningful work” to every human being (Time Quake).

    Kind of like Justice Marshall said (in a lone disent) everyone who applies for a job with the US Govt is entitled to it.

    He will be missed

    RIP KV

  4. John Thompson commented on Apr 12

    Roses are red and ready for plucking
    You’re sixteen and ready for high school.
    –Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Breakfast of Champions

    Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.
    –Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    Believe in whatever harmless lies make you happy, healthy, brave and kind. –Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. “Cat’s Cradle:”

    A tremendous loss. I hope he opted for cryopreservation. I love this man.

  5. rebound commented on Apr 13

    That was one hell of a tour of duty as a human being. Well done!

    I hope his passing brings a new wave of interest in his work. It is wonderfully accessible literature. Given the times, it may be just what the Doctor ordered.

  6. dark1p commented on Apr 13

    In his last book, KV explained how, when they were kids, he and his sister thought that people falling down was the funniest thing in the world. Of course, Kurt died as the result of falling down. Tragic, but I get the feeling he would’ve found it pretty damned funny in his dark, wonderful way.

    I loved him since I was a kid–especially when I found out he had lived in Schenectady for a couple of years and worked at GE. My home town, and he was there once! Boy, that thrilled me to no end.

  7. wnsrfr commented on Apr 13

    When I spoke at my father’s funeral, I included an allegory I picked-up from Vonnegut, how we are born on an island in a stream. As we live we move from the front of the island to the back, sometimes we are swept away early, the lucky make it all the way to the back before being swept away. (paraphrased poorly, I think it is from Galapagos)…)

    Anyway, it came out pretty nicely in the service (my Dad did indeed make it to his natural point of being swept away).

    Kurt made it to his end; he’s now drifting away.

    P.S. I was thrilled at the end of the service to learn that one of the attendee’s daughter was a caregiver to K.V. in NYC and she was going to relay my use of his allegory to him :)

  8. Tom B commented on Apr 13

    Kurt Vonnegut; Douglas Adams; Jerry Garcia; Hunter Thompson. The people who shaped my world view are rapidly disappearing. I have two kids now. I guess that means the mantle is now on MY shoulders to educate and inspire, at least in my small piece of the planet…

  9. Barry Ritholtz commented on Apr 13

    “There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the mafia.”

    – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr, The Sirens of Titan.

  10. greg0658 commented on Apr 13

    Calling into local talk radio 2 days ago, subject: Imus slippery talk. I projected my pet peeve, ie: use of God **** (Bless Us).

    I researched a while back in IMDB (International Movie Database) that it started to become popular in the 40’s.

    I would like to turn back time to before Hitler so that statement would never have come into existance.

    I am so dismayed that the FCC allows that statement, but requires beepouts for the likes of F**k or S**t, which are just a couple of body functions in slang.

    Rest in Peace Kurt, I’m praying that statement is not taken seriously by the powers that intelligently designed this beautiful universe.

    Tell me the Hubble telescope wasn’t worth the $.

  11. greg0658 commented on Apr 13

    ps: I usually add the magic word
    God Bless Us, please

    I also have to admit I beamed from my transmitter noggin to any receiver out there that I think our Intelligent Designer should consider turning off the human birthing process.

  12. Alex Khenkin commented on Apr 13

    Sirens of Titan must be one of the saddest books ever written. I can’t count how many times I re-read it. Still have a 6-tome collection of his novels translated into Russian, beautifully. One of the finest writers of the XX century, Rest In Peace.

  13. DavidB commented on Apr 13

    I read him at a very pivotal point in my life. Ironically I got a few of his books for free somewhere and was exposed to his whacky way of thinking. I’m sure it would have been his will that most people be exposed to his writing the way I got them. It certainly would have fit into one of his stories as a fitting allegory

    I foggily remember the ‘reeks and the wrecks’. Was that from Breakfast of Champions?(no, I just looked it up it was player piano, here is a writeup of it here: Player
    ). That book is turning out to be a prophecy

    I should pick those books up again since I have now grown a couple of decades since last reading them and the magnification of appreciation will undoubtedly have grown with me. They are worth a few more chuckles

  14. ac commented on Apr 13

    How about KV’s comment that once a man loses his culture then he loses his race, there is nothing left of that man(when talking about “Terrorism”) hence he considered it lofty ideals.

  15. DavidB commented on Apr 13


    Player Piano = World under Google

  16. Barry Ritholtz commented on Apr 17

    My last words? “Life is no way to treat an animal, not even a mouse.”

    —Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., American novelist, essayist, and playwright, In These Times, August 6, 2004

  17. Barry Ritholtz commented on Apr 17

    “Why throw money at problems? That is what money is for.”
    -Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

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