Goodbye Kurt Vonnegut

A literary great’s death was announced today.

I was lucky enough to briefly meet Kurt Vonnegut when he came to Shippensburg University in the spring of 1996 and then saw him speak that night. The thing that suck with me is when he told us that Hamlet was the greatest work of literature ever because it started and ended in a depressing, awful way with no rise towards a happy climax.

I also remember how when we met, we were sitting at a table both reading and smoking, briefly said hello and left it at that. Other students came up to him and bothered him and he firmly told them to leave him alone as he was about to speak. It strengthened a good lesson, don’t prattle on at famous people if you have nothing to say because, like everyone else, it will annoy them.


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