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Click button below for more information. The sale of memorial brick pavers provides veterans and their families an opportunity to commemorate their military service as part of the grand entryway and plaza fronting the memorial. Telephone Indiana American Legion Legacy Foundation. Everyone did it, stole food when they had the opportunity. The third sentence of Slaughterhouse-Five tells us this much.
It later tells us that Vonnegut wanted to make Derby the hero of the novel. As McConnell recalls:. He himself teetered on the edge of giving up, had black holes of depression, smoked and drank too much, was contradictory, complex, moody. Yet he wrote all his life in protest against human vileness, used his considerable wit and craft to point it out, and spent his heart in a humanist appeal to the greater angels of our nature. Back when I was doing the archival research, I came across a letter Vonnegut wrote to Stephen Turner in And, indeed, the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five earned Kurt a permanent place on the bookshelves of the literati and larger reading public alike.
Perhaps it was his failures and struggles as a copywriter and car dealer that so endeared him to those whose writing and work are at odds with one another.
Reed in an essay written specifically for this collection. A small, token example of this: Most authors who write about meeting Kurt for dinner or a drink mention that Kurt insisted on paying. Kurt would hate that last sentence, full of the punctuation mark he most despised.
Born or Bred in Indiana
The semicolon! I present it here in its entirety:.
I have just read your sneering, impossibly conceited attack on my dear brother in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, and now understand that your smiles during our meeting in Manchester last month were as friendly as those of Count Dracula. Maybe you think you are funny, but you are as stupid as all the people who said Louis Pasteur was wrong about germs. England may not be much good at science any more, but she sure has the actors still. How delightfully Midwestern—how Hoosier—of Vonnegut to write this letter, one that, while defending Bernie, only briefly addresses the central conflict, one whose insults are of the kind you can utter in polite company around children, and one that suggests that the accused will be played in a filmic adaptation of the event by a good actor.
The later essays in the collection wax nostalgic and mournful and are no less enjoyable than the early stuff. Joseph Timmons tells a sweet story of a chance encounter with Kurt on the subway and then meeting him again at a party later that night.
Some remember a man in good humor, later in life, despite the emphysema the unfiltered Pall Malls had earned him. They got his dad. But I am eighty-two. It was ultimately a failed attempt to walk the dog that got him. He fell walking down the steps of his NYC, brownstone home and landed in a coma.
He died weeks later, on April 11, I miss the man. And I feel kinship with others who love his work. I met Suzanne McConnell, for instance, quoted above. And Nanny Vonnegut.
I met Dave Eggers there, too, whose own writings about Vonnegut are conspicuously absent from the collection. All were, in their own ways, inspired by him. Fourteen months after its publication, I was contacted by the Pentagon.
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I said that I believed that both Derby and Pilgrim were based on the man. His family wants to have his remains exhumed and returned to the United States for a proper burial. The materials mention others who witnessed the incident and helped bury Palaia, but nowhere is Vonnegut himself mentioned by name.
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Within a couple weeks of that firebombing, Palaia was executed by a squad of four Nazi soldiers. His remains still lie in that unmarked grave. I guess someone got wind of the whole ordeal and thought I should be there in Bloomington at the Granfalloon, alongside Suzanne and Nanny and Dave Eggers and Marc Leeds, author of the Vonnegut Encyclopedia , and Neko Case, whose connection to Kurt remains a mystery to me but who can nevertheless belt a beautiful tune.
Indiana University Professor of English Ed Comentale put the thing together, and I have never attended an event that blurred the lines between an academic conference and a public, cultural event so seamlessly and beautifully.