Vonnegut you don't crap about Vonnegut - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Vonnegut you don't crap about Vonnegut

Rip.


American novelist Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., has died at age 84. VOA'S Chris Martin prepared this profile.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. with wife, photographer Jill Krementz (2004 file photo)
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. with wife, photographer Jill Krementz (2004 file photo)
Kurt Vonnegut emerged as one of the most influential and provocative writers in the United States, during the 1960's. His writing was an ongoing protest against what he felt were the horrors of the 20th Century. He wrote of an unending sequence of disastrous wars, the destruction of the environment and the dehumanization of the individual, in a society dominated by science and technology.

Vonnegut's themes were by no means unique to contemporary literature. It was rather the way he expressed his protest that made his works so forceful and popular. Fantasy, science fiction, humor, a keen sense of the absurd, and despair were the ingredients of his satires. In his fantastic tales, he would show the frustrations of average people with their burdens and boredom.

Kurt Vonnegut was a self-proclaimed pessimist. He believed the egalitarianism of American society was not the result of individuals realizing their opportunities in a "land of opportunity," but more the result of a decrease in opportunities. An example is his novel, "Breakfast of Champions," about a middle-aged American car salesman. The book's message is that hard work, intelligence, and perseverance do not guarantee anything in a changing America. Vonnegut believed the individual was not the controller of his own destiny, but the subject to many uncertainties.

Kurt Vonnegut was born on November 11, 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the Midwestern United States. His schooling at Cornell University was interrupted when the United States entered World War II. As a prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany, he witnessed the firebombing of that city. This catastrophe later became the subject of his most powerful novel, "Slaughterhouse Five."

Kurt Vonnegut became a free-lance (independent) writer in 1950 and, two years later, published his first novel, "Player Piano." This futuristic story takes place in a city where the industry has been fully mechanized. The people of the city - aware they are being phased out - revolt and destroy all the machinery. They soon realize they have destroyed the technological devices they depend upon for their existence. Another of Kurt Vonnegut's well-known works is "Cat's Cradle," the story of two families - one black, one white - who struggle to live in an icy, empty environment. Separation and war are the two themes of his novel "Mother Night."

In his novels, Vonnegut's heroes are unexceptional characters. The author's popularity can be linked to his use of ordinary people whose frustrations force them to work together to correct the ills of their society. He saw personal satisfaction as inconceivable in a fragmented world. Vonnegut pleaded, in his surreal way, for an end to the hierarchies of religion, status, money and intelligence that he said divide people and make them adversaries.

Author Kurt Vonnegut became a hero of his culture, because he celebrated human vulnerabilities - something we all can understand. Kurt Vonnegut died Wednesday, at age 84.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 08:35 AM
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he'll be missed. any celebrated author of his stature that makes a cameo in a rodney dangerfield movie is tops in my book.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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he'll be missed. any celebrated author of his stature that makes a cameo in a rodney dangerfield movie is tops in my book.

Rep sent in picking up the title reference.

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I will sock ya square in your snot locker if you EVER use the term "Bron Bron" in my presence - BAHLEEDAT
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 08:53 AM
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 09:14 AM
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 10:46 AM
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