Friday, September 21, 2007

Vonnegut Update

I haven't posted one of these in a while- mostly because I got hung up on one book. Specifically, Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons, a collection of essays, speeches, and an interview. I won't lie or try to beat about the bush about this, but I was bored shitless trying to read this book.

While I understand the historical implications of the things he discussed in these books, most of them mattered so little to me that I couldn't even feign interest to myself. There was no small amount of joy in my heart when I finished it Wednesday on the way home from work. I can only estimate, but I believe it took me at least a month to read those 288 pages.

Today, however, I had the distinct pleasure of beginning my favorite Vonnegut novel, Slapstick. Something about this book just represents the best parts of Vonnegut to me. That something is the cunningly absurd idea which wins the main character the presidency- the idea of artificial middle-names to create extended families. It is a fun idea because it would mean a great deal to a great many people living far away from their origins, far from their families.

I've recently been exposed to a wide network of extended family- mind you, I already have one myself- in the Assassin's family. She has probably 4 times the number of cousins I do, and most of them live in or around Chicago. Well, most of the ones I've met so far. I digress.

The other thing I really love about this book is the duality of Wilbur and Eliza- the genius they create when they're together.

It appeals to the romantic in me.

Years ago, I started writing a novel, and the first line was a tribute to this book. I still remember it, too:
"I am in New York. It is raining."

Chapter 1 of Slapstick begins:
"To whom it may concern:
It is springtime. It is late afternoon."

The sad thing about starting this book today is that I only started reading it on my way home from work, catching the 3:45 train home. I finished the book about half an hour ago. This saddens be because if I wanted to write a movie based on this novel, I would probably take about the same amount of time to tell the story, perhaps a little longer. That, and I feel like I didn't get time to really enjoy it.

Ah well, as we all know, the show must go on, and I must keep reading. I have just crossed the halfway point in terms of pages on this project:

In other news, I am sick. I am in a bad mood, despite having just read my favorite novel. The mood is mostly work related. The sickness is mostly throat related, after being sinus related earlier this week, which means no karaoke for me. Hopefully it will pass soon. As always, there will be more later.


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