Kurt Vonnegut: Humorist, Skeptic, and Social Critic
Kurt Vonnegut, one of my all-time favorite authors, died this week at the age of 84. His 19 novels and dozens of short stories, essays and plays, made him world-famous, but many people may not know that he suffered from depression all his life and attempted suicide with pills and alcohol in 1984. He was a humorist, a skeptic, and a social critic who entertained us at the same time he made us think deeply about serious issues.
One of my favorite lines from his novels goes something like this: “You are who you pretend to be, so be careful who you pretend to be.” In my own quest for authenticity, this line has come to mind often throughout my life.
It is not required to be depressed in order to write great fiction, but I think Vonnegut’s own depression helped him to express a deep understanding of the human condition. Those of us who suffer from any mental disability are used to struggling just to stay alive, and we often turn to art in order to express our anguish. The world benefits from our creativity. If only it would pay more attention to our needs as well.
Read more SharePosts about Kurt Vonnegut from our community: Community Pays Tribute to Kurt Vonnegut
Published On: April 13, 2007
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