Thursday, April 12

Kurt Vonnegut died last night.

God damn it.

Never met him. Never wrote to him. The year I was born, he was writing his fourth novel. When it was published the next year, it sold 500 copies. It was called CAT'S CRADLE.

I don't feel bad for him. I feel bad for me. I feel like I've lost family.



The last lines of "Requiem," the final poem of his last book:


When the last living thing

has died on account of us,

how poetical it would be

if Earth could say,

in a voice floating up

perhaps

from the floor

of the Grand Canyon,

"It is done."

People did not like it here.






God damn it.

5 comments:

Kanus said...

Kurt Vonnegut was one of the few people who I felt was worthy of respect. So few people can fall into that category.

I hate to seem like a suckup, but you are one of the few others.

The list of those respected who are living always shrinks, and the list of those living who deserve contempt constantly grow.

Samantha said...

I am truly going to miss that grumpy old bastard. I loved his books, but I loved watching him make his interviewers cringe even more. (The CBC has been playing his last radio interviews over the past few days & they are lots of fun!)

greggDOTdaleATminimogulDOTcom said...

So it goes.

One of my favorite Vonnegut moments is from an odd source. In the Rodney Dangerfield movie "Back to School", Rodney has to write an analysis of Vonnegut's work, so he hires Kurt Vonnegut to ghost write it with him (or for him). Later, the english professor rails on Dangerfield in front of the whole class, telling him that his paper shows that he has no understanding of Vonnegut.

I love that. The writer who wrote that bit understood Vonnegut.

Matt - Drop me a line sometime if you've a mind too.

Rob Locke said...

I was reading Vonnegut's wiki, and it sounds just like Matt... "Rules for writing a short story"

A couple excerpts:

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

You know, I was unfamiliar with him before this post and i feel like i was living under a rock.

wintersquall said...

first time reader and poster here, and i know i'm late hopping on the bus - my apologies. somehow i never thought to look for an online blog from my favorite author... intelligence sometimes doesn't guarantee common sense.

to hear matthew stover lament vonnegut's passing has a special significance for me, as vonnegut's works were my favorites for a long time... until i read heroes die. apples and oranges yes, but caine's adventures moved me in such a visceral way that i can't possibly forget, ever. in an email to my g/f the morning after k.v.'s death (she is also a huge vonnegut fan), i typed the same thing: "God Damn it."

don't know whatcha got til it's gone, i suppose.

to Mr. Stover: Thank you for entertaining me and more with your work, and the news of CBK at once astonished me and made my day. i have published nothing since i was 7, but my fledgling writing follows a rule that comes from reading your work: if it doesn't feel REAL, don't write it.

i will be eagerly checking your blog now that i've found it, and intend to catch up on your opinions, especially those concerning our current world situation.

thanks again, looking forward to getting to know your other work.

-winter