When I was young, I read his works every chance I got. He always looked like he had a bad case of bed-head and his wit was sharp as hell. He was also a life long smoker. He tried to off himself once and talked openly about it. MSNBC has a obit of sorts here. Some interesting things about an intrinsically interesting but troubled man:
He was a POW during WWII. He was a prisoner in Dresden when the U.S. bombed it. He survived the bombing by huddling with other POW’s inside an underground meat locker labeled slaughterhouse-five, which was the name of his 6th novel. The novel, in which Pvt. Pilgrim is transported from Dresden by time-traveling aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, was published at the height of the Vietnam War, and solidified his reputation as an iconoclast.
Many of his novels were best-sellers. Some also were banned and burned for suspected obscenity. Vonnegut took on censorship as an active member of the PEN writers’ aid group and the American Civil Liberties Union. The American Humanist Association, which promotes individual freedom, rational thought and scientific skepticism, made him its honorary president.
Rest in peace Kurt. You earned it Sir. Thank you for your literary gifts to me and the rest of the world.
tags: Kurt Vonnegut