12 April 2007

Saints everywhere

I checked in briefly early this morning and was hit with the wave of litblogs mourning the death of Kurt Vonnegut, one of greatest compassionate writers who have ever lived. I still can't quite believe it. As Carolyn said, you know it's bound to happen but that doesn't make it any easier to take.

I hope many litbloggers reach for their books and quote favorite passages, share memories, tell stories... What a life. When I lived in Indianapolis, every morning I would drive past the hotel that once contained the "Bluebird Room" from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (my favorite). Remembering his work like that would help me through the tedium of the workdays, and I would try to keep hold of that sense of heartbreak and wonder that floods our daily lives.

Here are a few past posts, and some highlights from his "last speech for money":
“people are in revolt against life itself.”

“If you really want to hurt your parents and don’t want to be gay, go into the arts.”

“To hell with the advances in computers,” he says after he finishes singing. “YOU are supposed to advance and become, not the computers. Find out what’s inside you. And don’t kill anybody."

“war is a very profitable thing for a few people. Jesus used to be so merciful and loving of the poor. But now he’s a Republican."

“You meet saints every where. They can be anywhere. They are people behaving decently in an indecent society."

The greatest peace, Vonnegut wraps up, “comes from the knowledge that I have enough. Joe Heller told me that.

“I began writing because I found myself possessed. I looked at what I wrote and I said ‘How the hell did I do that?’

“We may all be possessed. I hope so.”


Mark said...

Surely, our job now is to dust those paperbacks down and -- critically, attentively -- reread them all.

And to continue to argue, as strongly as we possibly can, against the evil folly of war and the politicians who perpetrate that evil.

amcorrea said...

Yes. Most definitely.