a common reader

Kurt Vonnegut, a man without a country

· 19 January 2007 |  by Janantoon
· Published in: Engelse literatuur · English texts  |  1 Comment
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a man without a country
A man without a country
A memoir of life in George W. Bush’s America
Kurt Vonnegut

This is a strange amalgam. The Los Angeles Times wrote that this book “may be as close as Vonnegut ever comes to a memoir”.
Indeed, part of the book is a collection of reminiscences: his youth, his family, his ancestors. But that’s not all. Vonnegut talks about writing stories, he lards the text with funny one-liners, he preaches fire and brimstone.

In some ways it reminded me of this other Old Gentleman of Literature: Harold Pinter, who used his Nobel Prize lecture to rage against world politics by the Bushes and Blairs.
At 82, Kurt Vonnegut seems depressed by the state of affairs in the US and “the rest of the world”, as they call it. And that’s where the dark humour comes from: he’s desperately trying to cope with a depressing reality. Not an easy task even for a younger man, but Vonnegut is made of tough material.

I wish I’d be able to write like this when I’m 82.


One Comment

  1. makifat says:

    I read some of this book last year. Vonnegut certainly does have a sense of despair about him when he speaks of the Bush Presidency. I’m glad he has not opted for Hunter Thompson’s way out. I remember reading selections from one of Thompson’s last works, particularly his opinions regarding George Bush, and thinking “This guy is not long for this world…” Not long afterwards, I heard that he had blown his brains out.