Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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April 12, 2007 |
Post to the Host:
I woke up today and heard of the passing of Kurt Vonnegut. I enjoyed his wit, his sarcasm and his unfailingly Christian-like humanism. Mostly I just liked his stories that took me to so many weird places. Of his life I know very little but I seem to remember his lament that novels, or the written whatever, were being ever more marginalized in a society of instant gratification. He touched me with that one. My kids think To Kill A Mockingbird is just an old movie. So I mourn Mr. Vonnegut's passing not only as a hero but as a signpost on my own road through geezerhood.
I read about Mr. Vonnegut this morning, dead of a head injury from a fall, and have been thinking about him all day too. He was a dark writer and also very mischievous and when you met Kurt, the mischievous stood out. I met him a few times and he had a fine morbid streak, talking about old age or politics or the Publishing World These Days, and he also had a big sense of fun. He came to the N.Y. premiere of the Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion" and seemed in fine form that evening, but was especially graceful at a Paris Review gala at which he was chosen to eulogize his friend George Plimpton. Which he did with great gravity and elegance. I was emceeing and I remember Kurt's irritation at having to wait in the wings for somebody to tell somebody to do something before the show could get started. He could fume with the best of them. He was irascible and said he had written his last book and was all done and it was all over, and then he came out with "Man Without A Country". He had a good ride. He had a lot of fun being successful, I think. And then a graceful decline. One could hope for the same.