2007-04-13

Kurt Vonnegut, Counter-Culture's Novelist, Dies

In the New York Times obituary for Kurt Vonnegut, who died on 11 April 2007, aged 84, Dinitia Smith provides a kind of summary of his works. The main aspect and central point of his philosophy, she claims, was the necessity for kindness as the basis for peaceful life on this planet.
To Mr. Vonnegut, the only possible redemption for the madness and apparent meaninglessness of existence was human kindness. The title character in his 1965 novel, “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, or Pearls Before Swine,” summed up his philosophy:

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’ ”


Another article on Vonnegut and his work:
God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut
Here the author recommends "A Man Without a Country" as "a fine place to start". This collection of biographical essays was Vonnegut's last publication.
Here is a number of short excerpts for a first impression of his style:
A Vonnegut Sampler

The Guardian Unlimited quotes comments of other writers about Kurt Vonnegut and his work.

Here's a link to an obituary in the Britannica Blog.

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