Feeds

Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84

So it goes

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Writer Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday at 84 as a result of brain injuries suffered in a fall at his Manhattan home, news agencies report.

Vonnegut was born in 1922 in Indianapolis, the son of third-generation German-Americans. His first forays into writing came at high schol and university. During a spell at Cornell during 1941-2, he was involved in campus publication the Cornell Daily Sun, although the war intervened to cut short his academic career.

He enlisted in the US army, and was subsequently captured during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. Moved to Germany, he survived the destruction of Dresden between 13-15 February 1945 by taking shelter with fellow POWs in underground meat store "Slaughterhouse 5". His experiences of the carnage wreaked by the allied airforces were later to heavily influence his work, notably his 1967 novel Slaughterhouse-Five.

His post-war wriiting career kicked off in earnest with the publication of a short story in Collier's in 1950. It subsequently included his first novel Player Piano (1960), Cat's Cradle (1963) and Breakfast Of Champions (1973).

Although many of his works contained science fiction elements, Vonnegut himself rejected the sci-fi tag. Time travel features as an experimental plot device in the celebrated Slaughterhouse-Five, possibly best remembered for the line "So it goes" - used repeatedly as an ironic dismissal of death and eagerly adopted by anti-Vietnam war protestors.

Vonnegut married twice - to childhood sweetheart Jane Marie Cox (divorced 1970), and photographer Jill Krementz. He had seven children: three with his first wife, three adopted from his sister Alice after she died of cancer and another adopted child, Lily.

His later life was marked by a self-confessed loss of the "compulsion to write" and an attempted suicide in 1984. He was a heavy smoker, and once quipped: "I'm suing a cigarette company because on the package they promised to kill me, and yet here I am."

Vonnegut came out of semi-retirement last year to publish A Man Without A Country (subtitled A Memoir Of Life In George W Bush's America). He said he'd drawn energy to pen the collection of essays from "my contempt for our president". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?