by Cathy Resmer
I heard on VPR this morning that Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday.
When I first read Vonnegut's novels in my college English classes, I wondered how I had gotten that far along in my life as a reader without having read them. There was just something so fresh, and funny and brave about his writing. One of my irreverent professors assigned his books in a couple of my classes. She called him "a vulgar sentimentalist," but she liked him, too.
I go back to Slaughterhouse-Five often, and God Bless You Mr. Rosewater. Whenever I think about writing a novel, I wonder how I could make it more Kilgore Trout-ish . Because he's the opposite of literary pretension. And I once started working on a project I called "The Secret Dreams of Montana Wildhack." But I never got very far.
I haven't picked up a Vonnegut book in awhile, but I was reminded of him last week, when a DJ on 104.7 The Point made a crack about becoming unstuck in time, and mentioned Billy Pilgrim. I almost called up the station to say thanks for the unexpected literary allusion, but I was in the car and didn't have the station number on me.
I forgot about it by the time I got home. So it goes.