Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sad News -- Kurt Vonnegut Dies

A Republican friend sent me this, notice of the death of author and fellow Hoosier (by birth) Kurt Vonnegut.

While I certainly wouldn't number him among those authors whose works sent me to the bookstore upon release, there is little doubt that Vonnegut was among the greats of 20th Century American letters, our political and religious differences to the contrary notwithstanding.

I once had a wonderful personal encounter with Vonnegut. It was my freshman or sophomore year at Hampden-Sydney, and Vonnegut came to visit the campus. I covered the event for the college paper, The Tiger, and after chain-smoking his way through a lecture in the college gymnasium, a small group retired to the College Chaplain's home for a reception.

And Vonnegut held court over wine and cheese. It was an entirely enjoyable event. The Great Author sat for hours with students and faculty (he could certainly pound down the fruit of the grape), and my recollection is that the party didn't break up until near midnight.

My autographed copy of Cat's Cradle is among my great treasures.

RIP. Or more appropriately, "And so it goes...."

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