The Death Of Billy Pilgrim
Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007
Fuck. That's another one dead. The deaths of great writers/singers/artists/etc. seem to be almost endemic these days. What's most disconcerting is the almost leisurely way they're treated now: they're there, and then suddenly the few obituaries arrive. Their deaths seem to come so suddenly, because their lives are forgotten; when was the last time you saw Kurt Vonnegut's name in the news? Old figures like Artaud, Mahkno, Derrida, Deleuze, Curtis, Cobain, their lives become more important as they recede into the distance; the presence of them as living people is replaced by an image, by documentation.
What I find even more worrying is... reading the Times obituary, it listed his most important works, mentioned all of his extra-curricular activities (short stories, occasional articles, lecturing), even the most important events in his life (the Dresden bombing, publishing Slaughterhouse Five). And the thought occurred to me: is this all a man's life consists of? What really is left of us when we go? I mean, fuck, the man's dead, and I haven't even done him the service of reading Slaughterhouse while he was alive. Hm.
Fuck it, I'll go read Mother Night. Wake me when it's all over.