Saturday, 5 January 2008

Year 2, day 5 - interesting last words

Taken from Kurt Vonnegut's last press interview, for what it's worth I disagree with his views on America, and I think a lot of Americans are too hard on themselves about recent world events:

Q: In the process of your becoming, you’ve given the world much warmth and humor. That matters, doesn’t it?

KV: I asked my son Mark what he thought life was all about, and he said, “We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.” I think that says it best. You can do that as a comedian, a writer, a painter, a musician. He’s a pediatrician. There are all kinds of ways we can help each other get through today. There are some things that help. Musicians really do it for me. I wish I were one, because they help a lot. They help us get through a couple hours.

Q: “A lack of seriousness,” you wrote, “has led to all sorts of wonderful insights.”

KV: Yes. The world is too serious. To get mad at a work of art — because maybe somebody, somewhere is blowing his stack over what I’ve done — is like getting mad at a hot fudge sundae.

Q: So what’s the old man’s game, then?

KV: My country is in ruins. So I’m a fish in a poisoned fishbowl. I’m mostly just heartsick about this. There should have been hope. This should have been a great country. But we are despised all over the world now. I was hoping to build a country and add to its literature. That’s why I served in World War II, and that’s why I wrote books.

Q: When someone reads one of your books, what would you like them to take from the experience?

KV: Well, I’d like the guy — or the girl, of course — to put the book down and think, “This is the greatest man who ever lived.” [Laughs.]


La Belette Rouge said...

I love the love the lightness of his attitude, "A lack of seriousness has led to all sorts of wonderful insights." Kurt's son's attitude about the meaning of life is also lovely---it is all about helping each other get through this thing. Really nice. Thanks for sharing, TAYO :-)

Anonymous said...

"Well, I’d like the guy — or the girl, of course — to put the book down and think, 'This is the greatest man who ever lived.'"


His story is indeed 'great'.


I love to finish a book and say to myself, "what am I going to do now?" You see, my focus in some books are all encompassing.

b said...

I too like Kurt's comment about seriousness. A level of seriousness is great when appropriate but there is so much lightness in this world that we make dark with unnecessary or unproductive seriousness.

As far as his take on America, I think he does feel sad that America is perceived so differently than say 50 years ago. There are so many great things about America and so many horrible things as well. It's time to draw upon the strength of those great things to make us better to and for the world.

Take A Year Out said...

I love America. I love what America stands for - the foundations upon which it is built. Liberty, freedom of speech and the free market economoy.

Whatever certain people may have done to diminish these, they are always there as the foundations upon which your nation was built, and I believe that your nation will return to them.

I love the fact that anything is possible in America. Americans speak the language of possibility. In the the UK, you tell someone your new idea and all they can do is tell you why it won't work. In the US, all people can do is tell you to go for it.

With foundations like these you can't fail in the long run.

A heartfelt 'Viva America' from TAYO x.