Passages of writing: Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut

 

Book: Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut. P73 Vintage 1991 edition, first pub 1970

 

Why?: Mostly because it explains the best reason of all for reading: escaping reality.

So they were trying to re-invent themselves and their universe. Science fiction was a big help.

But also love the cyclical (meta-fictional) nature of the writing: Vonnegut having been a soldier is speaking from experience, and Kilgore Trout is a character that appears in many of Vonnegut’s writing, a writer, modelled on a friend of Vonnegut’s – Theodore Sturgeon.

The writing is so simple even childlike, but the story being told is so grave and says so much in few words. And in amongst it is the phrase (twice) that Kurt Vonnegut is known for – ‘So it goes.’

 

Kilgore Trout became Billy’s favourite living author, and science fiction became the only sort of tales he could read.

Rosewater was twice as smart as Billy, but he and Billy were dealing with similar crisis in similar ways. They had both found life meaningless, partly because of what they had seen in war. Rosewater, for instance, had shot a fourteen-year-old foreman, mistaking him for a German Soldier. So it goes. And Billy had seen the greatest massacre in European history, which was the fire-bombing of Dresden. So it goes.

So they were trying to re-invent themselves and their universe. Science fiction was a big help.

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