I read most of his works with a great enthusiasm, but he lost his charms as a writer for me long ago.
However, I do understand that for many people of a scientific inclination, and, equally, of a humanist stripe, for those who can be fascinated with the physical world without requiring a Man in the Clouds to be running the show, that he was a touchstone of American literature for more than half a century.
We may get to see him again if the bizarre time-travel mechanisms of Sirens of Titan ever come to pass! But for now, goodbye Mr Vonnegut.
Vonnegut is like marijuana. He’s a gateway drug. Many heroin addicts remember their marijuana days fondly, but that drug no longer holds the same appeal. 😉
For me, Vonnegut was one of the gateways into higher thought and literature. Just like Salinger, Hemingway, and Steinbeck. Vonnegut was different from than those three, though, because of exactly how you describe him.
It is less his writing, and more his character that I will miss.
Well, everybody’s gotta go sometime, and Vonnegut was pretty worn out and disillusioned by the current deteriorating state of the world in general. Given who he was, I think he simply decided to leave.
We may miss him, but funerals are for the living — and knowing Vonnegut, he probably found a portal to something better and said “Sayonara, fuckheads!”
And for the record, that whole ‘gateway drug’ thing is a myth cooked up by a bunch of propagandistic fascist assholes; the same ones whose legacy is systematically robbing us of everything we’re supposed to cherish as a nation. So, my dear friend, be careful invoking the language of the enemy — even metaphorically — lest you be mistaken for a sheep.
I recently read a manuscript that was finally translated from an ancient text found in an urn near the Sea of Gallilee, which described how Jesus turned the five loaves and two fishes into crystal meth, and so nobody was hungry and they were able to stay up for days — but that subsequently no one would sit still or shut the hell up and listen to his sermon, so he scratched that particular miracle off the program for future events.