Today is a day we celebrate Veterans, thus I’d dedicating this post to my literary hero, Kurt Vonnegut.
I was a sophomore in high school when I first picked up Slaughterhouse Five. I’d never read anything from Vonnegut, but I was a sixteen year old pretentious English nerd and after just finishing Steppenwolf, I was looking for other books that literary minded people were suppose to read.
What I found was so much more. The sheer chaotic brilliance of his work is something words can’t described. It has to be experience. It has to be read. His work took me, in the first few pages, to worlds I’d never experience before. I was hooked. While my peers read Twilight or Harry Potter, I cried with him through Mother Night and tip-toed to the edge in Galapagos.
Even more amazing, though than his works, may be the life he lived. The beauty of his writing lies in the scars he experience first hand:
Kurt Vonnegut, a US soldier, was capture during the Battle of the Bulge, one of the bloodiest battles in America history and quickly lead off to Dresden.
Dresden, during WWII was literally, hell on earth. For two days, The U.S. and Britain firebombed the place. Fire fell from the sky, killing tens of thousands of civilians and most of the POW’s. Kurt Vonnegut survived by luck. His captors put him and others in a detention facility, Schlachthof Funf, or Slaughterhouse Five. The underground meat locker let him survive the war.
The horrors though he witnessed are etched into every word of his books. He lets us relive the past/present/future and personally, inspired me to be a better person and author.
Happy Veteran’s day. One day I hope, we won’t need this holiday ( they say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one 😉 ).