Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut: Sportswriter?

Kurt Vonnegut died last night. I won't write a retrospective of his work and tell you how much he meant to me because, honestly, the only book of his I read was Slaughterhouse Five and I think I was too young to really get it because I don't remember liking it that much. It was always something I thought I should give another shot now that I'm older.

So, why should I make a post at all? Well, through Deadspin I found a link to a blog post about Vonnegut briefly writing for Sports Illustrated in the magazine's earliest days and had a rather amusing departure. According to the magazine it went like so:
Kurt Vonnegut worked briefly at SI until being told to write a story about a race horse that had jumped the rail and terrorized the infield at a local track. Vonnegut stared at his desk for what seemed like hours before finally departing the building without a word. Inside his deserted typewriter was this: ''The horse jumped over the fucking fence.''

Yep, I'd say that pretty much sums it up.

I did like his poem "Requiem" that he wrote in 2005.
The crucified planet Earth,
should it find a voice
and a sense of irony,
might now well say
of our abuse of it,
"Forgive them, Father,
They know not what they do."
The irony would be
that we know what
we are doing.

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
perhaps
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
“It is done.”
People did not like it here.

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