Sad news at the
death of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. yesterday. I mention it mostly to mark the
loss, to place a small × on the calendar.
Curses! More thoughtful tributes than this one will, no doubt, turn up in
the days ahead. I haven’t read anything by Vonnegut in a few years, but
discovering his writing signaled a moment for me, a steel/flint encounter as
shocking as spark-producing when I (accidentally?) picked Breakfast of
Champions from the shelf of Park U.’s underground library during my
sophomore year of college. Vonnegut’s was the first stuff I stumbled upon
where I knew I had to read everything else he’d written, and then did, every
kicky, smutty, banned word of it I could find–a treasure trove of zaniness,
humor, and wit.