Sometimes Kurt Vonnegut blows my mind.
Okay, actually it’s most of the time.
Or wait; maybe it’s Kilgore trout who does most of the damage. They’re a little tricky to disassociate half the time.
Anyways, as a fictional science fiction author (Trout, not Vonnegut… at least as far as I know), the man has a truly revelatory capacity of cutting to the truth in the most ridiculous, absurd, humourous, and even horrifying ways possible.
Each and every one of Trout’s horrible / wonderful stories (or at least the ones that Vonnegut is willing to share with us) contain a kernel, a nugget, a fistful of truth that feel oddly ahead of their time.
There’s that one about those aliens who travelled the galaxy to visit earth and tell us the meaning of life, but end up getting punched out by an angry farmer. Oh, and those evil sea pirates who invaded the “new world” and spent generations lying about its history. How about thatplanet of cars that destroy everything?
It’s literary Dadaism at it’s best. But unlike those forerunner at the turn of last century who felt more than a little fed up, Vonnegut / Trout is so far beyond that.
Could detached be the right word? Uncaring pessimism? I’m not sure.
Sarcasm – that’s the one. Smartass. Laughing over how obvious everything is and how oblivious we are. But it’s our own damn fault for not listening or caring – sweeping everything under the rug.
The truth is often overlooked, ignored or buried in the dung heap – Like one of the messages he’s trying to deliver, Trout’s own novels, veritable parables, lie buried between the pages of adult smut literature, dime-store erotica.
We hide ourselves behind greasy pages and lick our fingers afterwards. Paperback prophets indeed.