The death of Kurt Vonnegut (and Madame)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My favorite novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. died Wednesday, April 11, 2007, at the age of 84. This makes one less hero in a world of great need. I assume there will be many compelling articles written about his life and works in the next couple of weeks, before our national attention span gets distracted by something shiny.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Here is a short list of some of my other favorite authors who have passed: Philip K. Dick (1928-1982), Carl Sagan (1934-1996), Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005), Ken Kesey (1935-2001).

Ken Kesey died on the day I moved to Oregon, which felt somewhat significant to me at the time.

Ray Bradbury (born 1920) and J. D. Salinger (born 1919) are still kicking though.

My very favorite book is Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, perhaps never to be topped.

In local news, our pet black widow spider Madame died today, perhaps in response to the news of Vonnegut’s passing. It was only on Tuesday that I watched her consume a delicious crane fly, which I had collected from the porch light. Madame had been our pet since unexpectedly arriving in a bag of red grapes from Fred Meyer grocery store on December 18, 2005. The other black widow spider that we found in that same bag of grapes, named Lady, died on October 26, 2006, one day after a cricket meal.

So . . . Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007. And . . . Madame the Black Widow Spider, 2005-2007.

So it goes.*

*Note: This phrase now reminds me of The Burnside Project’s song “And So it Goes” (because I’ve listened to it so many times), in addition to being a classic Vonnegut catchphrase.

And so it goes?

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