Monday, April 16, 2007

Vonnegut on Wolfe

Kurt Vonnegut, one of my first favorite writers, died last Wednesday. That day, I happened to be reading a book about one of my more recent favorite writers, Tom Wolfe.

So, as a tribute to Vonnegut with a nod towards Wolfe, here is a review of Wolfe's first book Vonnegut published in the New York Times.

The conclusion: "Excellent book by a genius who will do anything to get attention."


At 3:16 AM, Blogger 'laizer said...

Such a strange thing...

My first reaction to hearing this was 'Oh No!' and a sense of loss.

But a short moment afterward, I realized that everything I knew of Kurt Vonnegut, every shred of connection I have to him, remains in the world even as he leaves it. From the beginning I knew him only from what he was eventually to leave behind. I suppose it's that way with most of today's artists.

Not so with those whom I really know, those whose very presence in the world informs my reality, those to whom I relate to as people, not as creators of artifacts. When they are swallowed up, an infinity is swallowed with them, and the world is somehow left thinner.

I realize now, that there are some, very few, artists to whom I relate in that second way. They have entered my world, and I look to their pens as events unfold, actively asking them how they will work in this new reality being created around us. They do not merely create something that I consume, but share in a reality unfolding. Those few I would mourn; I would cry that their canon was limited so, that we traveled but so briefly together.

At 2:31 PM, Blogger Kalman Rushdie said...

Laizer -

You make an excellent distinction. Still, Vonnegut had an impact on me at a certain time, and his death reminds me of that time.

But I think Vonnegut himself might agree with your first point. There is a line from Galapagos that says somethink along the same lines:

"When someone dies, he is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly to cry at funerals."

At 2:39 PM, Blogger 'laizer said...

That's a part of be sure...

At 4:35 AM, Blogger 'laizer said...

Where'd you go?

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Ibrahimblogs said...

Vonnegut was my favorite too. May his soul rest in peace.

Keep sharing!!

This is Ibrahim from Israeli Uncensored News


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