Monday, October 26, 2009

Armegeddon in Retrospect, by Kurt Vonnegut

I thought I'd never say this again, but I just read a new Kurt Vonnegut book. Not only that, but I'm starting another one now.

Armageddon in Retrospect is a collection of writings about war and peace, some of which are previously unpublished. It starts out, after a great introduction by Mark Vonnegut, with a letter written by Pfc. K. Vonnegut, Jr. on April 29, 1945. The letter is probably his earliest attempt to put into writing the horrific experiences he had as a P.O.W. in Germany. Slaughterhouse-Five would be its culmination, years later.

If people were reasonable creatures, every veteran would be an antiwar activist, but alas, we aren't and they aren't. For that matter, if people were reasonable, we wouldn't need antiwar activists, would we. Here's what Vonnegut says about the movement to stop the Vietnam War: "We might as well have been throwing cream pies."

More later.

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