Slaughterhouse Five or The Children's Crusade A Duty Dance
- 275 pages
- Slaughterhouse Five or The Children's Crusade A Duty Dance with Death
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
- 27 November 2014 Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
I miss Kurt VonnegutHe hasn't been gone all that long Of course he isn't gone yet he is gone He has always been alive and he will always be dead So it goesSlaughterhouse five is next to impossible to explain let alone review but here I am And here I goWhat is it aboutIt's about warIt's about love and hateIt's about post traumatic stress It's about sanity and insanityIt's about aliens not the illegal kind the spacey kindIt's about lifeIt's about deathso it goesThat's one thing Earthlings might learn to do if they tried hard enough Ignore the awful times and concentrate on the good ones This is how I live my life This is how I get through the day Most days I am successful some days I'm not Today is one of the not days Like so many Americans these days I feel I'm in a rut Like so many Americans I don't understand why I am where I am This was not the plan This was not what I had in mind Oh poor meboo hoo This book This book got me thinking So much about life sucks true but not many of us want to give up on it that easy Why because of the good ones And what makes good ones is our ability to create and enjoy creatingat least I think soWrite it Shoot it Publish it Crochet it sauté it whatever MAKE— Joss WhedonIf you make something a painting a poem a novel a good meal a personyou continue to live even after death I think that's what Mr Vonnegut was getting at MaybeAt least that is how he has remained alive for me Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time Slaughterhouse Five an American classic is one of the world's great antiwar books Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most I have to admit to being somewhat baffled by the acclaim Slaughterhouse 5 has received over the years Sure the story is interesting It has a fascinating and mostly successful blend of tragedy and comic relief And yes I guess the fractured structure and time travelling element must have been uite novel and original back in the day But that doesn't excuse the book's flaws of which there are a great many in my seemingly unconventional opinion Take for instance Vonnegut's endless repetition of the phrase 'So it goes' Wikipedia informs me it crops up 106 times in the book It felt like three hundred times to me About forty pages into the book I was so fed up with the words 'So it goes' that I felt like hurling the book across the room something I have not done since trying to read up on French semiotics back in the 1990s I got used to coming across the words every two pages or so eventually but I never grew to like them God no I found some other nits to pick too Some of them were small and trivial and frankly rather ridiculous such as wait for it the hyphen in the book's title Seriously what is that hyphen doing there There's no need for a hyphen there Couldn't someone have removed it like 437 editions ago And while I'm at it couldn't some discerning editor have done something about the monotonous uality of Vonnegut's prose about the interminable repetition of short subject verb object sentences Don't get me wrong I'm not saying all authors should use Henry James or Claire Messud length sentences Heaven forbid I'm actually rather fond of minimalism both in visual art and in writing But Vonnegut's prose is so sparse and simplistic it's monotonous rather than minimalist to the point where I freuently found myself wishing for a run on sentence every now and then or for an actual in depth description of something I hardly ever got either As a result there were times when I felt like I was reading a bare bones outline of a story rather than the story itself Granted it was an interesting outline larded with pleasing ideas and observations but still I think the story could have been told in a effective way A less annoying way tooAs for the plot I liked it I liked the little vignettes Vonnegut came up with and the colourful characters he created the British officers being my particular favourites I liked the fact that you're never uite sure whether Billy is suffering from dementia brain damage or some kind of delayed post traumatic stress disorder or whether there is some actual time travelling going on I even liked the jarring switches in perspective although I think they could have been handled in a slightly subtle manner And I liked the book's anti war message weak and defeatist though it seemed to be In short I liked the book but it took some doing I hope I'll be less annoyed by the two other Vonnegut books I have sitting on my shelves Breakfast of Champions and Cat's Cradle Every so often you read a book a book that takes everything you thought created an excellent novel and tears it to pieces; it then sets it on fire and throws it out the window in a display of pure individual brilliance That is how I felt when I read this jumbled and absurd yet fantastic novelThe book has no structure or at the very least a perceivable one it’s all over the place But it works so well It cements the book’s message and purpose underlining its meaning Indeed this book is an anti war novel which is asserted in part through its random and confusing organisation The story is “jumbled and jangled” such as the meaning of war It appears pointless to the reader again alluding to the meaning of war It also suggests that after the war a soldier’s life is in ruins and has no clear direction which can be seen with the sad case of Billy Pilgrim So it goesBilly Pilgrim is a poor tortured soul who after the fire bombing of Dresden is in a state of flux His mind cannot remain in the present and darts back and forth in time like the narrative He was never the most assertive of men and after the war became a shadow of his already meek self The war has left him delusional which is manifested by his abduction by aliens This may or may not have happened Vonnegut leaves it up to the reader to decide What decision they make effects what genre the novel belongs toIs it science fictionIf Billy was abducted by aliens then this is sci fi but if it is a figment of his imagination then this becomes something much deeper It’s up to the reader how they interpret it but I personally believe that he wasn’t abducted I think he made it up unconsciously as a coping strategy for the effects of war and that the author has used it as a tool to raise uestions of the futility of free will but importantly to further establish the anti war themeVonnegut draws on a multitude of sources to establish this further such as the presidential address of Truman He ironically suggests that the A bomb whilst devastating is no worse than ordinary war; he points out the fact that the fire bombing of Dresden killed than the nuking of Hiroshima Through this he uses Billy Pilgrim’s life as a metaphor for what war for the effects of war on the human stateSo it goesVonnegut himself is a character within the narrative as the life of Billy Pilgrim is in part an autobiographical statement The narrator addresses the reader and informs them of this He tells them that this all happened or less This establishes the black humour towards war and the inconseuential deaths of those that are in it Hence the motif “so it goes” at each and every mention of death whether large or small He ends the book on the line “poo te weet” He even tells the reader he is going to do this but at the same time demonstrates that there is nothing intelligible to be said about warI warn you if you’ve not read this it is one of the most bizarre books you will ever read The main character time travels in his mind and has no real present state The narrative initially appears random and completely confusing But once you reach the end you’ll see this book for what it is the most individual and uniue statement against war that will ever be writtenYou can connect with me on social media via My Linktree I read this book first in 1999 when my grandfather passed away It was a bit of a coincidence as his funeral occurred between a Primate Anatomy exam and a paper for my Experimental Fiction class on Slaughterhouse Five I was frantically trying to remember the names of all kinds of bones when I picked this up in the other hand and tried to wrap my head around itBasically Vonnegut has written the only Tralfamadorian novel I can think of These beings most undoubtedly inspired in Billy Pilgrim's head by the scattered science fiction plots of Kilgore Trout experience time as a continuum that is constantly occurringand when they look at time even though in their version of history the world is in a constant state of being destroyed for example they choose to see the things that make them happythe good moments What Billy learns from these creatures is that each traumatic event that has happened in his life fits very precisely into a state of meticulous nature It has always happened and always will happen and so it goes on and on and on What Billy Pilgrim truly experiences over and over in his life is Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome He exists throughout his memories traveling back and forth with the knowledge of what will happen and how precise it all is Dresden is bombed in every moment and his friend Derby is put in front of a firing suad At every second he is the only survivor of a plane wreck he is getting married and he is fighting a Children's Crusade It's the only way he can look at the despair that has happened and make sense of itWhen my grandfather died and I read this I felt as if it was just what I needed because I could escape back into time and remember the good memories of my grandfatherif they existed even if in some fourth dimension then he was just as dead as he was alive and eating peanut butter chocolate ice cream At the same time my grandfather had a heart attack I was watching him play cards with my grandma at the kitchen table But which one to think of Well that was easy Death can't be prevented and so it goes but you can always try to change which moment you live in It's a little bit different than a memory and if you go far into it you'll end up like Billy Pilgrim which is to say you will go insane because the rest of the world sees time as linear and counts seconds and minutes and hoursOnce and awhile it doesn't hurt I re read this again on the plane rides home and back before and after my grandmother's funeral on Monday and last night My grandma was a strong and intelligent woman and she always read everything she saw My recent memories of my grandmother were of her at the holidays She always had her mind but her physical condition had deteriorated and she was dependent on oxygen It made me sad to think of her like this a bit It's really hard for me to think that my grandma is no but then I tell myselfwell it's silly for me to keep crying on and on about this My grandma is right now reading at 4am in her living room chair and I am a child creeping down the stairs hoping she's still up She is telling me that one day I'll come around and like green onions She is reminding me to keep my feet off of the davenport and about being tickled by something She lives in a jungle of houseplants and watches musicals all of the time always pointing out when some distant relative of mine appears briefly in The Greatest Show on Earth My grandma can't be dead and be doing all of those things can she It doesn't make sense She will always be alive in some moments just like I will always be seven and nine and twenty eight and perhaps past thirty and forty So she'll always be hereI just wish I could dream about her “All moments past present and future always have existed always will exist” SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE Kurt VonnegutMy junior year of college I had a roommate Don his nickname was Har Don which he hated; Har Don loved Kurt Vonnegut no he worshiped Kurt Vonnegut It’s ironic since everything Har Don believed in was the antithesis of what Vonnegut stood for Don insisted I read Vonnegut's SLAPSTICK He told me it was the greatest novel ever written I did and it isn't He insisted I was wrong I wasn't But I was done with Vonnegut; there were authors I was craving to read and Vonnegut was not one of themSkip ahead to my joining Goodreads Friends here people whose opinions I truly respect kept telling me I had to read SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE So I broke down and picked up a copy And Well it is hard to put into words how much I loved the world inhabited by Billy PilgrimI can honestly say I have not read anything like SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE That's a good thing I had just finished NORWEGIAN WOOD and LIE WITH ME two tales of young love gone wrong so I was looking to inhabit an entirely different world SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE definitely was that world or should I say worldsSLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE is based on Vonnegut's experiences as a POW during the Allied bombing of Dresden in 1945 SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE is considered a modern literary masterpiece as it should be It propelled Vonnegut who had been largely ignored by both critics and the public to fame and literary acclaim So it goesSLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE follows Billy Pilgrim a man who becomes unstuck in time and brings together different periods of Billy's life his time as an ill fated soldier his post war optometry career and a foray in an extraterrestrial zoo where he served as an exhibit with humor and deep insightSLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE was published on March 31 1969 and became an instant and surprise hit It spent sixteen weeks on the New York Times best seller list and went through five printings by July of 1969SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE has not been without controversy The American Library Association listed the book as the 46th most banned or challenged book of the first decade of the 21st century It was banned from Oakland County Michigan public schools in 1972 The circuit judge there accused the novel of being “depraved immoral psychotic vulgar and anti Christian” No wonder I loved it“My books are being thrown out of school libraries all over the country—because they’re supposedly obscene Vonnegut told the Paris Review I’ve seen letters to small town newspapers that put Slaughterhouse Five in the same class with Deep Throat and Hustler magazine How could anybody masturbate to Slaughterhouse Five” I'm starting to like this Vonnegut characterIn 2011 Wesley Scroggins an assistant professor at Missouri State University called on the Republic MO school board to ban SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE He wrote in the local paper 'This is a book that contains so much profane language it would make a sailor blush with shame The ‘f word’ is plastered on almost every other page The content ranges from naked men and women in cages together so that others can watch them having sex to God telling people that they better not mess with his loser bum of a son named Jesus Christ' The board eventually voted 4 0 to remove the novel from the high school curriculum and its libraryIn response to this ban the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis gave away 150 free copies of SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE to Republic Missouri students who wanted to read it As a kid who was not allowed to give book reports in front of the class because my reading choices were morally uestionable I now officially love the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial LibrarySLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE is the strange tale of Billy Pilgrim As i said previously Billy becomes unstuck from the linear nature of time and takes us along on his journey Billy Pilgrim is the anti everyman while engaging in love ethics war science and aliens SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE's main theme is man’s inhumanity to man throughout historySLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE is not without its own heartfelt themes It is most definitely an anti war book It is in many ways an anti death book It presents a philosophy uestioning the purpose of life amidst determinism Ayn Rand would have hated SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE yet another reason to love this bookSLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE is often insensitive and dark and yet you can't help but laugh at the world Vonnegut has created SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE is full of contradictions that only serve to make Vonnegut's points SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE doesn't end with the death of Billy Pilgrim That would far to simple an ending for something as brilliant as this; Billy lives on reliving this strange existence learning and relearning the lessons of his life unstuck from time So have I revised my opinion of Vonnegut Most definitely Will I read Vonnegut in the future Yes but selectively Will I reread Slapstick NEVER 375 Slaughterhouse Five The Children's Crusade A Duty Dance with Death Kurt VonnegutSlaughterhouse Five or The Children's Crusade A Duty Dance with Death 1969 is a science fiction infused anti war novel by Kurt Vonnegut about the World War II experiences and journeys through time of Billy Pilgrim from his time as an American soldier and chaplain's assistant to postwar and early years It is generally recognized as Vonnegut's most influential and popular work A central event is Pilgrim's surviving the Allies' firebombing of Dresden as a prisoner of war This was an event in Vonnegut's own life and the novel is considered semi autobiographicalتاریخ نخستین خوانش روز نوزدهم ماه می سال 2011 میلادیعنوانها سلاخخانه شماره پنج؛ نویسنده کورت ونهگات؛ انتشاراتیها روشنگران و مطالعات زنان؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش نوزدهم ماه می سال 2011 میلادیعنوان سلاخ خانه شماره پنج؛ نویسنده کورت ونه گات؛ مترجم علی اصغر بهرامی، تهران، روشنگران، 1372؛ در 263ص؛ چاپ دیگر 1380؛ چاپ بعدی 1381؛ شابک 9646751490؛ چاپ ششم 1389؛ موضوع جنگ جهانگیر دوم از سال 1939میلادی تا سال 1945میلادی سده 20مکورت ونه گات زادروز یازدهم ماه نوامبر سال 1922میلادی، ایندیاناپولیس، ایالت ایندیانا، درگذشت روز یازدهم ماه آوریل سال 2007میلادی 84 سالگی در شهر «نیویورک، ایالت نیویورک»؛ ملیت آمریکایی؛ پیشه نویسنده از سال 1950میلادی تا سال 2005میلادی؛ همسران جین مری کاکس از 1945میلادی تا سال 1971میلادی، جیل کرمنتز از سال 1979میلادی تا سال 2007میلادی، دارای چهار فرزند؛ والدین کورت وانگات سینیور، ادیت لیبرآثار رمانها «پیانوی خودنواز 1952میلادی»، «آژیرهای هیولا 1959میلادی»، «شب مادر 1961میلادی»، «گهواره گربه 1963میلادی»، «خدا شما را حفظ کند، آقای رزواتر 1965میلادی»، «سلاخخانه شماره پنج 1969میلادی»، «صبحانه قهرمانان 1973میلادی»، «اسلپ استیک 1976میلادی»، «محبوس 1979میلادی»، «مجمع الجزایر گالاپاگوس 1985میلادی»، «ریش آبی 1987میلادی»، «زمان لرزه 1997میلادی»، «مرد بیوطن 2005میلادی» مجموعه داستانها «قناری در خانه گربه 1961میلادی»، «به خانه میمون خوش آمدید 1967میلادی»، «انفیه دان باگومبو 1999میلادی»، «خدا شما را حفظ کند، دکتر کورکیان 1999میلادی»، «جوجو را نیگا 2009میلادی» نمایشنامه «تولدت مبارک وندا جون 1971میلادی»؛کورت وانگات جونیور، در رشته زیست شیمی از دانشگاه «کورنل» فارغ التحصیل شدند، در ارتش نامنویسی کردند و برای نبرد در جنگ جهانی دوم به اروپا اعزام شدند؛ ایشان خیلی زود به دست نیروهای آلمانی اسیر، و در «درسدن» زندانی شد، پس از پایان جنگ و بازگشت به ایالات متحده آمریکا، در «دانشگاه شیکاگو» به تحصیل «مردمشناسی» پرداختند، و سپس به عنوان تبلیغاتچی در شرکت «جنرال الکتریک» مشغول به کار شدند، تا سال 1951میلادی که با نهایی شدن انتشار نخستین کتاب ایشان، «پیانوی خودکار»، آنکار را ترک کردند و تمام وقت مشغول نویسندگی شدند؛ آثار ایشان ترکیبی از طنز سیاه در مایه های علمی تخیلی ست؛ از آثار ایشان «گهواره گربه»، «سلاخخانه شماره پنج» و «صبحانه قهرمانان» بیشتر مورد ستایش قرار گرفته اند؛ در سال 1999میلادی آستروئید یا سیارک 25399، را، برای بزرگداشت ایشان «ونه گات» نامیدند؛چکیده این داستان بیلی پیلگریم، قهرمان داستان، در زمان خدمت خود در ارتش آمریکا در جنگ جهانگیر دوم، قابلیت حرکت در زمان را پیدا میکند، و از آن لحظه به طور همزمان در زمین، و در یک سیاره ی دور، به نام «ترالفامادور»، زندگی خویش را پی میگیرد؛ او به فلسفه سرنوشت «ترالفامادور»ی ها باور پیدا میکند؛ آنها قادر به دیدن محیط خود در چهار بعد هستند؛ بنابراین از همه ی رخدادهای بگذشته و آینده باخبر هستند؛ واکنش او به رخدادهای ناخوشایندی که رخ میدهد، گفتن این جمله است «بله رسم روزگار چنین است»؛تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 31051399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا شربیانی A fun visit with cantankerous old Uncle Kurt Vonnegut is on a short list of my favorite authors and this is perhaps his most famous work Not his best but most recognizable Billy Pilgrim is also one of his best characters Kilgore Trout is his bestI liked it as I like everything I have read of him The recurring themes and characters use of repetition for emphasis and comic relief his irreverence and postmodern lack of sensitivity shine bright as ever here Vonnegut can be funny and grim on the same page same sentence even and not lose relevance or sincerity 2018 My wife and I visited Dresden Germany this year and I could not help think of Vonnegut as a young POW who miraculously survived the firebombing and lived to tell the tale 2019 rereadPerhaps his most celebrated and recognized this is also considered one of his best and I’d agree This 1969 publication was nominated for a Hugo and a Nebula and was also a finalist for the National Book Award I think maybe only Ursula K LeGuin could also pull that off This was made into a 1972 film directed by George Roy Hill who also directed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting and the film won the Hugo and the Cannes Grand PrixBilly Pilgrim has become “unstuck” in time We all walk through life with a film of our past raging in our minds but Vonnegut had Billy go one step further in that he actually lives random moments in time from his famous prison time in Dresden to his airplane crash to his kidnapping and zoo sentence on TralfamadorYes Tralfamador And we have another Kilgore Trout sighting and also Elliot Rosewater and Howard W Campbell Jr We are surrounded and encompassed in the world Kurt madeWe must play a drinking game of sorts every time death is mentioned we must say “so it goes” In his introduction we are told that this is to be a novel against war an anti war novel and the ubiuitous phrase is used as an existential and ironic reminder that we live in each moment of time but that freewill is an intangible thing as flimsy as dry rubber bands The novel is also ripe with situational irony throughout peppered with his inimitable dry humor and wit An observant reader will also note that when Pilgrim’s wife Valencia is in a car wreck there is a bumper sticker that said “Reagan for President” Since this was first published in 1969 seven years before Reagan would be mentioned in the Republican primaries and eleven years before he would be elected one wonders if KV had some time travel experienceAn absolute must read for his fans a good introduction to his work and an excellent book for all readers I finally read Vonnegut I finally read a war novel And after a long time I finally read something with so many GR ratings and a decent number of reviews which is precisely the reason I have nothing much to add to the already expressed views here So I urge you to indulge me to state a personal anecdote Thank YouMy Grandfather was a POW during Indo China war and remained in confinement for some six months By the time I got to know about it I had already watched too many movies and crammed endless number of answers about when and where such n such war was fought But I was naïve and let’s assume innocent and someone who was yet to learn to ask the right uestions So the fact that someone so close in the family had witness something I only read in schoolbooks was utterly fascinating for me Thus began my streak of stupid uestions Me Did you kill someone Did they torture you Did you dig some sort of tunnel to escape And so onMy Grandpa gave this hearty laugh he is famous for and said that I’m missing one important uestion Why the war happened at first place I thought for a while and answered Because it always happens I can’t recall properly what he replied to that but it was something on the lines of this I wish the answer changes when you’ll grow up because as of now that’s exactly how it is War always happens With books like Slaughterhouse Five Schlachthöf fünf it’s not the writing which matters but simply the ideas and thoughts it carries which transgresses the literary boundaries and create a place in the heart of the readers as a humble reminder that Love happens Hate happens Life happens Death happens Peace happens War happens and sometimes Shit happens Now for something completely different stating it mildly Billy Pilgrim is not just another time travelling man kidnapped by aliens from the unknown planet Tralfamadore and put in their zoo he's an eyewitness to the destruction of Dresden during World War Two Our Billy an optometrist eye doctor marries the boss's slightly overweight daughter Valencia who no one else wanted people are so unkind The couple have two disrespectful children Barbara and Robert the truth that he becomes very rich through his nuptials doesn't make him a bad guy lucky I guess is the proper adjective Billy is no prize either a tall skinny weakling an ordinary looking man with a peculiar tendency for nervous breakdowns welcome to modern life The only uniue thing about him is the fact he visits rather reluctantly different stages of his life by way of an unexplained and altogether involuntary power by time travel Yet for a while at least life doesn't become endless and boring still not as much fun as you'd think repeating situations again and again ouch IT DOESN'T MATTER HE'D RATHER NOT GOPast Present and Future are all the same to poor Pilgrim he can be at his daughter's wedding and in a few moments be back as a POW in Dresden Germany on February 13th 1945 when 1200 allied bombers from England and America dropped thousands of explosives on the city Causing fires to spread uickly and kill fry thousands anywhere from 30000 to 130000 humans nobody will ever know the exact amount So it goes Then poor Billy is back in Illium New York talking to his only friend Kilgore Trout an unsuccessful science fiction writer 75 unread novels I understand you can get his books at the local library if you are diligent The cosmic flying saucer that took MrPilgrim secretly to that strange worldnot sure if it's the right word for the weird planet millions of light years away through a wormhole did Billy a favor The very curious people of Tralfamadore like to watch and how They are not embarrassed by any kind of activity providing him with a young beautiful and eager movie starlet Montana Wildhack for the prisoner The salacious activity gives the inhabitants of this planet many hours of entertainmentBilly will never really die he will always travel through time and space foreverSo it goes