R.I.P. Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut passed away today. It's a real shame. No other author has been able to capture post-modernity the way he has. Nope, not even Don Delillo. Delillo is a great writer, but he's obsessed with the idea of high art and low art, and his books are filled with unease that this low art will overtake what he considers high art. You can tell that even though he uses the structure of a post-modernist, he pines for the days of Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein.
Vonnegut, however, may have had a pessimistic view of the world, but he was perfectly happy working in what some would consider low art. He had zero compunction about writing a science fiction novel for example. In fact, Vonnegut and Williams S. Burroughs are the only two science fiction writers who are taken seriously in academia. The mere fact that he was able to write his way out of a literary ghetto is a testament to his talent. He truly was the 20th century's Mark Twain.
Several reviews below is a review of Vonnegut's Mother Night for anyone interested. "So it goes."