Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Vonnegut punches American culture in the face

Undoubtedly the best thing to ever come out of Indiana was an unreasonably tall man named Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut is an 82-year-old farting Great Lakes luddite, a self-proclaimed freshwater humanist, a German-American POW who witnessed the bombing of Dresden and lived to tell about it.

He's written a plethora of fiction, enough to make any author envious. However, his latest work, A Man Without a Country, is not his usual fictional hammer bludeoning you with truth, but a straight-forward berating of cultural norms and a veritable slap in the face to wake us out of the witless, braindead passivity that has enveloped American culture.

Kurt, I hope you don't mind if I quote:
"Do you know what a twerp is? When I was in high school in Indianapolis 65 years ago, a twerp was a guy who stuck a set of false teeth up his butt and bit the buttons off the back seats of taxicabs... I consider anyone a twerp who hasn't read the greatest American short story, which is "Occurence at Owl Bridge," by Ambrose Pierce... I consider anyone a twerp who hasn't read "Democracy in America" by Alexis de Tocqueville."

To say anymore would do nothing but limit this work. The man is a master at building prose castles, and I revel in my mediocrity stacking words like bricks. Just buy the damn book.

Read more about "A Man Without a Country".

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1 comment:

Norene said...

i heard vonnegut on the radio being interviewed about his book. powerful. he's a real truth-teller.