So Long, Mr. Vonnegut


I knew this day was coming since 2007. I’ve dreaded it, but it’s here now and I have to deal with it.

Kurt Vonnegut died in April 2007. Vonnegut has been my favorite writer since I was in college. Cat’s Cradle is in my top five favorite novels of all time. His novels helped me find my own voice as a writer. And his view of the world was something I connected with as a human being. In his novels he often described the world as a disgusting place full of death and sadness and loss, but he still managed to unearth the humor and absurdity in everything he saw and for some reason that gave me hope for humanity.

The magical thing about being a writer is that your work lives on long after you’re gone. In 2007 I mourned the loss of the man but celebrated the fact that there were still Vonnegut novels out there that I hadn’t read and with each undiscovered novel of his I could breathe life back into the man I admired so much.

Alas, I’m about to lose Kurt…again.

I just started reading Hocus Pocus, the last Vonnegut novel I’ve yet to read. I purposely postponed reading the last remaining Vonnegut novels for years because I wanted to keep Kurt alive for as long as possible. But it’s over now. This is it. The last one.

I feel pretty much how I expected. Like I just got the news that someone I was close to just passed away, and I’m never going to see that person again. After I finish this novel, there is nothing new of Kurt Vonnegut to discover. He will have told me all he had to tell. And that makes me very sad. Sure, they’ll probably release some more unpublished short stories or essays of his, but it’s not the same as a novel. A novel is a relationship, it’s an investment between you and the author.

It makes me focus on my own mortality. I’m old enough now that I’ve read an author’s entire body of work. Makes me feel old. One day I’ll have said all I have to say.

This is depressing.

Oh well. As Kurt would say, “So it goes…”


~ by themoderntranscendentalist on January 29, 2015.

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