Vonnegut: Life through fiction


There’s no doubt that life can be strange, difficult and confusing but Kurt Vonnegut —a veteran, writer and political dissident — knew that art has the potential to alleviate some of the burden. I’ve read interviews where he claimed that artists have little effect in the wider scope of the world but in his writing there are pearls of wisdom that can’t be written off.

It is fiction, Vonnegut wrote in one essay, that revealed the true nature of the world and current events. It is art, he wrote, that grows your soul. “So do it,” he urged in “A Man Without a Country.”

In an isolated moment from “Slaughterhouse-Five” an alien tells a human what life is really about. Billy Pilgrim, a World War II veteran, is transported in time and space to put his world into perspective. It’s a strange premise, but sometimes you need an extraterrestrial to tell you what’s what.

If you haven’t read anything by Kurt Vonnegut, I’d suggest reading this and “Cat’s Cradle.”

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