Monday, October 15, 2012

Aimless Reading: The V's, Part 10 (Kurt Vonnegut)

Slaughterhouse Five
Vonnegut, Kurt
Slaughterhouse Five


I don't even have a guess about where I might have acquired this one. I have had it for a very long time, probably since college or just after.

It says on the inside flap that I bought it used for $2.75 and that it had belonged to the Horace Greeley High School English Department in Chappaqua, New York, which designated it copy number 39. A student, one Michael Baron/Kuntzman '92, wrote his name inside. I must have bought it in New York somewhere.

I suspect that scorn will rain down on my head if I say that I don't like Kurt Vonnegut's writing. He was everybody's favorite writer when they were in high school and college. Even the kids who didn't like to read liked to read kurt Vonnegut. I always found his worldview overly, what? Moralistic? Despite all the humor and cleverness and political venom I always felt like I was being taught something about good and evil, and that there was a clear, obvious distinction between those two things.

I tried hard to like his novels. I read four, maybe even five of them. I even taught him to one of my English classes, hoping they might like him and in turn make me do the same. The experiement failed. Miserably.

So there, I said it. I don't like Kurt Vonnegut. Bring it on.

from Slaughterhouse Five

The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.

1 comment:

dago red said...

I've never seen this edition. My creative writing teacher in high school required our class to read this one. With the culture the way it is today in the U.S. I wonder if that would still be permitted.

One of the highlights for me as a teenager was seeing the drawing of Montana Wildhack's boobs with the serenity prayer between them.