Goodbye, Blue Monday: Kurt Vonnegut Jr. dead at 84

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Having recently experienced brain damage during a fall, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., top American science-fiction author, has died at the age of 84. Author of such works as Slaughterhouse Five, Cat’s Cradle and The Sirens of Titan, Vonnegut explored space travel, time travel, chemically-altered water and felt-tip drawings of assholes. Vonnegut’s intellectual brilliance combined with whimsically low-brow humour made provocative reading, and raised the potential of the genre from being a place where he would be forced to be, as he put it, “a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled ‘Science Fiction’… and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal.” Vonnegut created a sly poetry of technology with a timeless quality that demonstrated the foolishness of slighting a work simply because it existed in genre rather than mainstream, and reading his works changes one’s relationship with science and gadgets. An ardent humanist, he asked that when he passed on, that people say, “Kurt’s in heaven now,” and cackle. [GT]

Vonnegut.com | Kurt Vonnegut | Kurt Vonnegut, Writer of Classics of the American Counterculture, Dies at 84

Gabrielle Taylor