Friday, February 13, 2009

Today In History: And so it goes.

On this date in 1945, the RAF dropped tons of incendiary bombs on a Hoosier soldier, causing him to write a strange novel.

Also, tens of thousands of civilians, some of them even innocent, died in the firestorm.

And so it goes.


Jim Sullivan said...

I hate hate hate Vonnegut. Hate him. I read Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle way back in high school and again in college (to see if my opinion had changed with a little more perspective). Still utter crap. It makes people with limited minds think they're really smart (no small feat, to be fair). That should be a crime.

The most over rated American author EVA.

Wow. He's dead and the mention of his name still pushes my buttons. Sorry for the outburst.

Turk Turon said...

Vonnegut was, in some respects, the Terry Pratchett of his generation. I enjoyed his books then, but they have a kind of "Sixties" feel to them, like Tom Wolfe or Richard Brautigan, that's gone now.

A good book about Dresden is The Devil's Tinderbox by Alexander McKee. Paybacks are hell and this payback especially.

Ed Foster said...

Harrison Bergeron.

Vonnegut was somewhat hackneyed in his later years, and desperately in love with himself after achieving icon status.

But I liked his early stuff, and, as a simple read, Bergeron ranks with The Plague by Keith Laumer as one of the more effective tools I've found to re-educate today's yutes.

Ayn Rand it ain't, but we're working with much reduced attention spans nowadays, particularly drole when considering the plot line of the story.

staghounds said...

He once said that he was the only person on earth who received any benefit from the Dresden raids.

Mikee said...

I object to the public schools using Vonnegut and other very depressing authors to shape the youth forced to read such stuff. While I have enjoyed his works as an adult, if I had been forced to read it as a teen I think it would have left me begging for an early death, to avoid the continued pain of life.

I once read that he signed notes to fans with a little mark, that some interpreted as a doodle of the sun, that was actually his doodle of an a**hole. Which is how he thought of himself, apparently.

The fake commencement address fraudulently attributed to him, recently spread on the internet, was a thing of beauty that he regretted not writing.

Anonymous said...

I predict he will be forgotten soon. Not soon enough.

He never outlived the shame of the utter discomfiture of the 106th. He couldn't even talk about it. So we all had to suffer for him.

You've never known defeat until you've been utterly discomfited.