Saturday, September 12, 2009

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut’s sad funny little tale about the firebombing of Dresden is a fast tragic-comic romp which is still probably the best example of his writing. I read it back in high school and enjoyed it immensely, and again in the early part of this summer in South Austin with no less love. I’d love to grab it and include a quote here, perhaps from the beautiful image in which time reverses so that the buildings all grow back together and the bombs fly up into the air where the airplane hanger doors shut quietly, and the planes fly backwards to land in reverse on the runway and the pilots and crew all walk backwards down the tarmac and return on boats to their homes in America and the bombs are disassembled in reverse and their dangerous chemicals returned to elements and carried backwards into the mines beneath the earth where they can never hurt anyone again.

But alas, we’ve moved from the library on Mosquero into an apartment near the Arboretum. So like almost every other book I own, Slaughterhouse Five now lives in storage, awaiting the return of a new gilded age when it will be able to go back on a shelf where it belongs in some new library somewhere else.

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