Kurt Vonnegut: An Iconoclastic Icon
Kurt Vonnegut’s iconoclastic life and literary style unintentionally rendered him a beloved icon. He seemed unafraid to direct his biting satire at anything or anybody he found worthy, including himself. Often his writings were transparent assaults upon social absurdities and those who, perhaps unwittingly, sought to perpetuate these. Readers without the courage to take a hard look at themselves in a full length mirror could laugh at his hapless characters and their folly, never realizing it was their own. Those who dared to actually study his work, convoluted as a carnival house of mirrors, often found reflected images of unusual clarity and truth.
This writer has concluded that no small measure of Vonnegut’s genius was a product of his continuing struggle with clinical depression. This brain disorder, when untreated, often reduces its victims to intellectual and emotional essentials. From these, the afflicted must reconstruct for themselves, on a day to day basis, a life worth living. It is very hard work. Many of the machinations of society are quickly found absurd. Vonnegut’s genius was making something of value out of nothing, and sharing this with his readers. He leaves behind a profound legacy of hope for those that can find it.
Published On: April 16, 2007