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RIP: Kurt Vonnegut

04.12.2007

Obituaries are often hard to write, so I'll leave this one to the wire reports. But author Kurt Vonnegut, who died Tuesday in New York, will be missed. His work was insanely influential and we all owe him a debt of gratitude. Below is the AP report on the death of a legend:

Kurt Vonnegut Jr., writer of dark comic novels including "Slaughterhouse-Five," died Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 84. Vonnegut suffered brain injuries as a result of a fall several weeks ago. His novels became classics, particularly among young readers in the 1960s and '70s.

His 14 novels included races he invented, impossible sci-fi phenomena and outlandish religions. While several were adapted for films, his vivid imagination sometimes proved difficult to translate to the screen, with George Roy Hill's "Slaughterhouse-Five" one of the more successful attempts. Other adaptations, such as Alan Rudolph's "Breakfast for Champions" and "Slapstick (of Another Kind)" were less successful.

Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany when he witnessed the firebombing by Allied forces, a brutal event which left a lasting influence on his work. "Slaughterhouse-Five," published in 1969 during the Vietnam war, was based on his WWII experiences.

His novels combined fiction and autobiography in a freewheeling style which took liberties with structure and punctuation, yet Graham Greene called him "one of the most able of living American writers."

Born in Indianapolis, his father was an architect who was often out of work during the Depression, while his mother suffered from mental illness and committed suicide. He attended Cornell U., and then studied mechanical engineering while in the Army. He had three children with Jane Marie Cox, his high school sweetheart, and adopted his sister's three children after she died of cancer. He started out working as a police reporter in Chicago, then did public relations for General Electric in New York. He soon sold his first short story to Collier's magazine and began writing short stories while working various jobs. His other novels include "Player Piano," a satire on corporate life; sci-fi novel "The Sirens of Titan," "Mother Night," which became a film starring Nick Nolte; and "Cat's Cradle." After "Slaughterhouse-Five," he suffered a severe depression, and then tried writing for the stage. "Happy Birthday, Wanda June" opened Off Broadway to mixed reviews.

He was divorced and then married photographer Jill Krementz, with whom he had a daughter.

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7:44PM on 04/12/2007

RIP Kilgore Trout

Wow. Slaughterhouse Five is probably the best book I ever had read, and in the 30+ years since I read it has got me through some bad times thinking "all time is one" and that I could get through whatever it was I was facing.

A true original thinker and humanist.

To his detractors "take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut. Take a flying fuck at the moon."
Wow. Slaughterhouse Five is probably the best book I ever had read, and in the 30+ years since I read it has got me through some bad times thinking "all time is one" and that I could get through whatever it was I was facing.

A true original thinker and humanist.

To his detractors "take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut. Take a flying fuck at the moon."
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4:14PM on 04/12/2007
This great writer will surely be missed. 'Breakfast of Champions' is my favorite read of all time. I have him to thank for this.

God bless you, Mr. Vonnegut...
This great writer will surely be missed. 'Breakfast of Champions' is my favorite read of all time. I have him to thank for this.

God bless you, Mr. Vonnegut...
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12:27PM on 04/12/2007
"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC."
-Kurt Vonnegut


Truly a sad day.
"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC."
-Kurt Vonnegut


Truly a sad day.
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12:15PM on 04/12/2007
...Everything was beautiful

and nothing hurt...
...Everything was beautiful

and nothing hurt...
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11:44AM on 04/12/2007
so it goes
so it goes
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10:25AM on 04/12/2007
Here's to one of th greatest writers/ critic ever to have lived. And as the old man one wrote," ..so it goes"
Here's to one of th greatest writers/ critic ever to have lived. And as the old man one wrote," ..so it goes"
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