I’ve made a terrible stab at reading fiction the past year or so. There was a time when I enjoyed reading fiction, a time before Myspace – Facebook – Twitter.
Maybe its the way that our computer screens flicker and change so rapidly that anything beyond a poem or a page has a hard time holding our attention. Or maybe that is just me.
So I am trying to gently get back into the swing of things and last week in a charity shop up Cookstown Main St I stumbled across a copy of Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce and To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf for the tidy sum of £1.
Anyway, I just finished Slaughterhouse 5 which is a short book and a good one to start with.
At times funny but completely tragic, absurd and sad.
I don’t want to do a big analysis of the book except to say that 135,000 people died in the bombing of Dresden towards the end of the Second World War. Obviously this is a novel with flights of fancy but the fact that 135,000 died in the firebombs is what stays with me. Horrible
This quote from Vonnegut borrowed from the Wikipedia page which lifed it from an special introduction a 1976 version of the book
says what he thought of it all
“The Dresden atrocity, tremendously expensive and meticulously planned, was so meaningless, finally, that only one person on the entire planet got any benefit from it. I am that person. I wrote this book, which earned a lot of money for me and made my reputation, such as it is. One way or another, I got two or three dollars for every person killed. Some business I’m in.”
War.Good God y’all! What is it good for?Absolutely Nothing!