Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Look at the Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut

I enjoyed, but was not wowed, by this unpublished collection of short fiction by Vonnegut. Much of it was typical Vonnegut fare and I appreciated the themes explored and points made in most of the stories. There were not too many stand out passages but the one I liked the most was from the second last story (which should have been the closer).

Background: Two attractive and rich 17 y.o.’s had an experience where they were exposed to a poor man who, despite much education, had not managed to excel and therefore reward his dying mother who had sacrificed for him. They tried to help but their parents interrupted. Feeling the pangs of empathy and guilt at their privilege the youths wanted to visit the man again but the girl’s mother hesitatingly objected.
Excerpt (p.237):
She was really saying that she could not stand the idea of Henry’s and Anne’s growing up – the idea of their ever looking closely at tragedy. She was saying that she herself had never grown up, had never looked closely at tragedy. She was saying that the most beautiful thing money could buy was a childhood a lifetime long –


Post a Comment

<< Home