Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cats Cradle - post I

I didn’t really get the humour of Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse 5 partly because it wasn‘t that funny a thing the Dresden bombing.

But you get the humour here and it makes the alien excursions with Slaughterhouse much more understandable. It’s as if the wanderings into the bizarre are a very visible shorthand to remind the reader that not only is this fiction not fact but that reality can be strange anyway. He is challenging the reader to think.

Not only to think but embrace characters that are often unusual being either too tall, too short or too clever.

But underneath it all there is a real sense of the dangers of science. The atom bomb is the most visible example but the idea of Ice-9, a chemical that can freeze water regardless of the conditions and temperature, shows how dangerous science and the ideas of scientists can be in a cold war context.

More soon…

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