Kurt Vonnegut – writer and thinker

Kurt Vonnegut – writer and thinker

Kurt Vonnegut – the most famous American writer of German origin, prose writer and journalist. He is a classic and legend of American culture, he is called modern Mark Twain. The writer’s ancestors came to America long before the appearance of the Statue of Liberty. Both grandfather and father Vonnegut were born in Indiana, but always felt “like Germans in America.”

Education future writer received at the Cornell University of New York State. He began as a biochemist, revolving among young scientists and working closely with his brother Bernard Vonnegut, “a man who knows more about lightning than any other in the world.” It was during these years that Vonnegut had a pessimistic view of the future. In an interview given by a correspondent of the

Literary Gazette on the occasion of the writer’s 75th birthday in November 1997, Vonnegut said: “… all the scientists around me were pessimistic, especially in matters of the future of the atmosphere, drinking water or soil, the vitality of the space ship, which we call the Earth, what you have done with Lake Baikal is just criminal. “

In one of his public speeches, the writer suggested that for engineers and scientists take an oath, which they would have to give before the end of the university, like the Hippocratic oath for doctors. Scientists resented the writer, stating that they are engaged in the search for truth and that it is necessary to criticize the design of the universe, and not them. Vonnegut was convinced that it was scientists who turned concrete achievements of science into destructive force. He wrote: “I thought a lot about Oppenheimer, Einstein, etc. If they were so clever – and they were much smarter than me – then what the hell they did not warn us about the consequences, the irreparable losses that made whole areas of the Earth impossible for life! ” These reflections and searches determined one of the main themes in the writer’s work. Vonnegut writes about the dangers,

The second important topic in the writer’s work was the theme of preventing

the third world war. Vonnegut was a participant in the Second World War, he knew all the horrors of the German captivity. While in a concentration camp in Dresden, he worked as a slave, side by side with Yugoslavs, Russians, and French. Together with all he fell under the famous barbarian bombing of the city, set up specially on February 23, 1945 by Anglo-American troops to demonstrate to Stalin and the Soviet Army the “might” of the Allied aviation. Although strategically Dresden was of no interest, the British and the Americans decided to stage a monstrously cruel spectacle to prove their military superiority. The city was destroyed to the ground, killing 135 thousand people. Only a few remained alive. Among them is Kurt Vonnegut.

Passing through such trials, the writer does not cease to warn humanity about the danger of a new war. Vonnegut’s prose was especially alarming and harsh when the USA began talking about the creation of high-radiation weapons – a neutron bomb, and President R. Reagan called this weapon “a ray of death, which was previously only dreamed of.”

Commenting on the events in Yugoslavia, enumerating the numerous wars going on in the countries of the world, the writer, who has more than seventy years of experience behind him, regrets with deep regret: “This simply proves once again that people are far from the best creatures, but simply awful animals. not just an animal, it is an amazingly terrible animal, while human beings are very desperate and now have great technical capabilities to kill. ” Vonnegut’s pessimism is suffering. He turned into a moral and philosophical position of the artist-humanist, who is preoccupied with the “careless inhumanity of man to man.”

His first novel “Mechanical Piano” writer released when he was 32 years old. Criticism considered the novel science-fiction, although, according to the perplexed author, he wrote about “a very real American town, sadly existing in our dull everyday life.” Vonnegut believed that by applying the grotesque and introducing into the fabric of the narrative the elements of fiction, you can more accurately describe the reality, which is sometimes more intricate than any fiction.

The city of Ilium, invented by the writer, is populated with smart machines that freed people from work, and at the same time from decision-making. For this, computers require submission to themselves and the few people who serve them. So, back in 1952, without knowing anything about computers, Vonnegut warned of the danger, which is now called artificial intelligence.

The novel “The Cradle for a Cat” tells the story of Felix Homikker, whose head is crammed full of genius ideas, but he does not understand what sin or love is. He never has any conscience, he is happy. He invented the atomic bomb, and when one general complained that the technique was stuck in the mud, he invented ice-nine, from the action of which all living things freeze and die. Vonnegut asks: “Can an intelligent person, given the experience of previous centuries, feed at least the slightest hope for the bright future of mankind?” And he answers this: “No”.

By delivering such murderous verdicts, the writer wants to shout to humanity, tries to draw people’s attention to what is really happening to them. Vonnegut’s work reflects a painful, full of doubts and errors, the progress of man to the realization of himself and his place in the world.


Kurt Vonnegut – writer and thinker