Kurt Vonnegut Dead at 84 - Fantasy Football Cafe 2014 Fantasy Football Cafe


Return to General Talk

Kurt Vonnegut Dead at 84

Moderator: Football Moderators

Kurt Vonnegut Dead at 84

Postby Kilroy » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:56 pm

From CBS News:

(CBS/AP) In books such as "Slaughterhouse-Five," "Cat's Cradle," and "Hocus Pocus," Kurt Vonnegut mixed the bitter and funny with a touch of the profound.

Vonnegut, regarded by many critics as a key influence in shaping 20th-century American literature, died Wednesday at 84. He had suffered brain injuries after a recent fall at his Manhattan home, said his wife, photographer Jill Krementz.

In a statement, Norman Mailer hailed Vonnegut as "a marvelous writer with a style that remained undeniably and imperturbably his own. ... I would salute him — our own Mark Twain."

"He was sort of like nobody else," said fellow author Gore Vidal. "Kurt was never dull."

Gay Talese, a best-selling author who knew Vonnegut well, told CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger that he never heard Vonnegut "express a bit of vengeance, resentment ... although in his work there was that real keen sense of hypocrisy."

"He was not a mean man,” Talese added. "And boy, that says something for writers."

Vonnegut's works — more than a dozen novels plus short stories, essays and plays — contained elements of social commentary, science fiction and autobiography. Hours after his death, "Slaughterhouse-Five" had jumped to the top 10 on book sales site Amazon.com, while "Cat's Cradle" and the nonfiction "A Man Without a Country" had reached the top 40.

Vonnegut's longtime friend and manager, Donald Farber, said there would be no public memorial, only a private gathering of family and friends. He also said other Vonnegut books were likely to come out, but declined to offer specifics.

A self-described religious skeptic and freethinking humanist, Vonnegut used protagonists such as Billy Pilgrim ("Slaughterhouse-Five") and Eliot Rosewater ("God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater") as transparent vehicles for his points of view.

He lectured regularly, exhorting audiences to think for themselves and delighting in barbed commentary against the institutions he felt were dehumanizing people.

"He was a man who combined a wicked sense of humor and sort of steady moral compass, who was always sort of looking at the big picture of the things that were most important," said Joel Bleifuss, editor of In These Times, a liberal magazine based in Chicago that featured Vonnegut articles.

Some of Vonnegut's books were banned and burned for alleged obscenity. He 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.

Vonnegut said the villains in his books were never individuals, but culture, society and history, which he said were making a mess of the planet.

"I like to say that the 51st state is the state of denial," he told The Associated Press in 2005. "It's as though a huge comet were heading for us and nobody wants to talk about it. We're just about to run out of petroleum and there's nothing to replace it."

Despite his commercial success, Vonnegut battled depression throughout his life, and in 1984, he attempted suicide with pills and alcohol, joking later about how he botched the job.

"I will say anything to be funny, often in the most horrible situations," Vonnegut, whose watery, heavy-lidded eyes and unruly hair made him seem to be in existential pain, once told a gathering of psychiatrists.

Vonnegut was born on Nov. 11, 1922, in Indianapolis, and studied chemistry at Cornell University before joining the Army. His mother killed herself just before he left for Germany during World War II, where he was quickly taken prisoner during the Battle of the Bulge. He was being held in Dresden when Allied bombs firebombed the city.

"The firebombing of Dresden explains absolutely nothing about why I write what I write and am what I am," Vonnegut wrote in "Fates Worse Than Death," his 1991 autobiography of sorts.

But he spent 23 years struggling to write about the ordeal, which he survived by huddling with other POWs inside an underground meat locker labeled slaughterhouse-five.

The novel that emerged, in which Pvt. Pilgrim is transported from Dresden by time-traveling aliens, was published at the height of the Vietnam War and solidified his reputation as an iconoclast.

After World War II, he reported for Chicago's City News Bureau, then did public relations for General Electric, a job he loathed. He wrote his first novel, "Player Piano," in 1951, followed by "The Sirens of Titan," "Canary in a Cat House" and "Mother Night," making ends meet by selling Saabs on Cape Cod.

Critics ignored him at first, then denigrated his deliberately bizarre stories and disjointed plots as haphazardly written science fiction. But his novels became cult classics, especially "Cat's Cradle" in 1963, in which scientists create "ice-nine," a crystal that turns water solid and destroys the earth.

He retired from novel writing in his later years, but continued to publish short articles. He had a best-seller in 2005 with "A Man Without a Country," a collection of his nonfiction, including jabs at the Bush administration ("upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography") and the uncertain future of the planet.

He called the book's success "a nice glass of champagne at the end of a life."

Vonnegut, who had homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons in New York, adopted his sister's three young children after she died. He also had three children with his first wife, Jane Marie Cox, and later adopted a daughter, Lily, with his second wife, Krementz.

Vonnegut once said that of all the ways to die, he would prefer to go out in an airplane crash on the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. He often joked about the difficulties of old age.

"When Hemingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life; old age is more like a semicolon," Vonnegut told the AP.

"My father, like Hemingway, was a gun nut and was very unhappy late in life. But he was proud of not committing suicide. And I'll do the same, so as not to set a bad example for my children."


RIP to one of the truly great American Authors of all time. :,-(
Image

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -- Voltaire
Kilroy
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerGraphics ExpertMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe Musketeer
Posts: 13587
Joined: 6 Oct 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Making My List and Checking It Twice...

Postby treat24 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:57 pm

i thought that happened yesterday...

anyway thanks for posting it... slaughterhouse five is my favorite all time book
treat24
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe SpotterCafe MusketeerWeb SupporterCafecasterCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 18188
Joined: 6 Oct 2003
Home Cafe: Football
Location: I'm drinking 'til I forget the 1999 NFC Championship game.

Postby Kilroy » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:13 pm

treat24 wrote:i thought that happened yesterday...

anyway thanks for posting it... slaughterhouse five is my favorite all time book


It did, but when I saw there wasn't a thread I thought it deserved mentioning.
Image

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -- Voltaire
Kilroy
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerGraphics ExpertMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe Musketeer
Posts: 13587
Joined: 6 Oct 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Making My List and Checking It Twice...

Postby Dr. Duran Duran » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:48 am

Slaughterhouse is a tremendous piece of work. Sad to see him leave us. Funny, I'll always remember him best for his quick scene in "Back to School". :-b Those of you that have seen it know what I'm talking about. Those that don't will have to check it out for themselves. The language in that bit is a tad too strong for the Cafe.
Image
Dr. Duran Duran
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe MusketeerWeb SupporterCafecasterTrivia Time Trial ChampionMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 14333
Joined: 20 Jul 2003
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Room 7609

Postby flotsamnjetsam » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:10 am

RIP :,-(
Image

Thanks to deluxe_247 for the awesome sig!
flotsamnjetsam
Moderator
Moderator

User avatar
ModeratorCafeholicFantasy ExpertCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterGolden Eagle EyeCafe MusketeerTrivia Time Trial ChampionPick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 17169
(Past Year: 81)
Joined: 12 Oct 2005
Home Cafe: Football
Location: New York State Of Mind: 18-1

Postby Kilroy » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:33 am

Dr. Duran Duran wrote:Slaughterhouse is a tremendous piece of work. Sad to see him leave us. Funny, I'll always remember him best for his quick scene in "Back to School". :-b Those of you that have seen it know what I'm talking about. Those that don't will have to check it out for themselves. The language in that bit is a tad too strong for the Cafe.


That is an excellent movie. I mean it's not Citizen Kane or whatever, but Rodney Dangerfield?...

You could make the argument that he was the greatest American Author of the 20th Century. Others might disagree, but you can make the argument.
Image

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -- Voltaire
Kilroy
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerGraphics ExpertMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe Musketeer
Posts: 13587
Joined: 6 Oct 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Making My List and Checking It Twice...

Postby CC » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:36 am

When I read Slaughterhouse 5 I didn't really appreciate it, maybe I was too young (15 or 16). I am definitely going to have to give it another go around.
Image
I ain't no suit-wearin' businessman like you... you know I'm just a gangsta I suppose... - Avon Barksdale
CC
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeSweet 16 SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 11079
Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: The Big House.

Postby SwiperNoSwiping » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:11 pm

Yeah, Slaughterhouse 5 was something else. RIP.
SwiperNoSwiping
Grillmaster
Grillmaster

Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterGolden Eagle EyeInnovative MemberCafe MusketeerWeb SupporterPick 3 Weekly WinnerSweet 16 SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 22027
Joined: 3 Feb 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Has Left The Premises.

Postby aaawall91 » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:57 pm

R.I.P. maybe I'll finally get around to reading his works, have been wanting to but never found the time.
aaawall91
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

CafeholicFantasy ExpertCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe MusketeerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 9934
(Past Year: 63)
Joined: 15 Aug 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: East Lansing

Postby Tiki » Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:27 pm

Loved his books...RIP.
Keep it lit.
Tiki
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Graphics ExpertMock(ing) DrafterPick 3 ChampionSweet 16 SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 7020
Joined: 25 Nov 2003
Home Cafe: Football
Location: '08 DOM-35.


Return to General Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Forums Articles & Tips Start & Sit Sleepers Rankings Leagues


Get Ready...
The 2014 NFL season kicks off in 19:01 hours
(and 43 days)
2014 NFL Schedule


  • Fantasy Football
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact