The #VonnegutSummer may be over, but The Vonnegut Review is alive and well. We’ve just penned a review of Robert Tally’s marvelous new theoretical take on Vonnegut. Here’s a snippet:
Vonnegut’s “telegraphic schizophrenic novel,” then, offers a resolute defense of the human even as it deconstructs the notion of the self. What Vonnegut returns to, in his exploration of eternal recurrence and Tralfamadorian ethics, is what Nietzsche refers to as amor fati, or the love of fate. Amidst the terror of history and the trauma of war, Vonnegut, yearning to recover a lost wholeness, shores up the ruins of modernity in the fragments of narrative.
“My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.”
—Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)
“The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.”
—Abraham Lincoln (via nypl)
Coffee and doughnut. Always hits the spot.
“That’s when I proffered my words of wisdom, that waste is the highest virtue one can achieve in advanced capitalist society….If you put an end to all the waste, mass panic would ensue and the global economy would go haywire. Waste is the fuel of contradiction, and contradiction activities the economy, and an active economy creates more waste.”
—Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance, 1994
Joel Coen, Fargo, 1996
Pete Seeger, “We Shall Overcome”
We are not afraid and we shall overcome someday. But now we’ll have to overcome without Pete Seeger who died yesterday. May he rest in restless agitation against injustice and suffering.