Well Hello Kurt Vonnegut

10 Aug

Cover art for the awesome-ness known as "Cat's Cradle."

My recent literary endeavor is Vonnegut’s classic “Cat’s Cradle.”  I’m sad to say that at the ripe age of twenty-three, I am a beginning Vonnegut reader.  A few acquaintances whom I greatly respect have talked very fondly of Kurt, so, naturally, I had to take a dive.

My initial reaction to “Cat’s Cradle”: “Nothing in this book is true.”  In all seriousness, nothing in the novel is real, as darling KV warns his readers before they even reach the table of contents.  As a result, I instantaneously fell in love. This is the prime example of a REAL WRITER.  Although some facts appear to be based upon Vonnegut’s own life experiences; nothing is true.

Even better, Vonnegut creates a complex religion called “Bokonon,” which is based on complete lies.  The narrator reflects on the details of the novel as a Bokonon convert, who, at the time of the novel’s events, was a Christian (so to speak). For anyone who has any strong views on religion (and who doesn’t?!?!) this juicy tidbit of dramatic license is almost too much to handle.

The author himself.

So besides a religion based on lies and the utter falsifications of the novel, I absolutely love how each detail and character is in some way connected in a completely unrealistic way.  Each person, place and thing (also known as a noun) is entrapped in a web of interconnected existence.  It is a beautiful concept even to think about.

Lastly, I will comment on the more obvious.  The novel certainly boasts commentary regarding science and technology, as the narrator originally begins by writing about the father of the atomic bomb (who is not Einstein in this novel contrary to popular belief–just another lie).  According to various sources, and common knowledge, Vonnegut based this portion on his own experiences as a writer who worked for GE’s scientists.  These scientists were hired by GE to create and research just for the sake of doing so, and Vonnegut was to interview them for the company.  This concept makes an appearance in the novel as the narrator researches the atomic bomb in the city of Illum, which bears a sense of commonality with Troy, New York (upstate).

I am only halfway through the fantastic literary journey into “Cat’s Cradle,” as I find it entirely necessary to digest the novel in morsels.  Each chapter is no more than a few pages, so it certainly allows the reader to pause and reflect upon each episode of inter-tangling.  If you’re as eccentric as I think you are (after all you’re reading my blog), you’ll adore and treasure this novel.

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