Novelist and all around awesome inspirational figure Kurt Vonnegut passed away yesterday. Mourning begins, effective immediately. His impact on the literary world and American counter-culture, and contemporary culture, is well-known.
His effect on me is also well-known, by everyone I lent my brothers copy of ‘Cat’s Cradle’ to in high school. There were many of them, and I devoured his novels and ideas, his rejection of corporatization and mundanaity, his cynicism, tempered by a fervent belief in the potential goodness of humankind. His effect on me was well noted also by my high school English teacher who marked my zealous Grade 10 book report on ‘Player Piano’.
I thank him for the many happy afternoons and evening reading his books and inspiring strange conversations. I’ll also thank him for his irreverence and flippancy, as well as his ability to chain smoke like a maniac and publish silly drawings and comics in his brilliant books and basically rock it as a hard-core iconoclast until the very end.
I for one, though I’m sure I’m not the only one, will be sure to have another couple reads of his books in the next little while, because they warrant revisiting.