Kurt Vonnegut Message Board
Jay Wilburn posts on 1/1/2012
Jay Wilburn has just written a review of Slaughterhouse-Five which you can see here
StAlbansStudent posts on 11/7/2007 10:48:48 PM
Secret or misprint?
We in 20th Century American Literature class noticed an error in the text that we are debating whether to attribute to Vonnegut's minute brilliance or to an editor's mistake.
In the most recent edition of Slaughterhouse 5 that we read in class (the version with a V on the front):
on pg 25 "the plane crashed on Sugarbush mountain in Vermont. Everybody was killed but Billy. So it goes."
on pg 156 "the barbershop quartet on the airplane was singing 'wait til the sun shines nellie' When the plane smacked into the top of Sugarbish mountain in vermont. Everybody was killed but Billy and the copilot. So it goes."
Arguments in class were split between two theories-
Mr. Barbee explained that the latter quotation was a misprint. Since the copilot is not mentioned anywhere else in the novel, he is not a symbol as many other things are that were mentioned just twice (the barbershop quintet or the black and yellow colors at Tralfamadore and the prisoner camp)
Juliana and I thought otherwise. 28 years of editting and thousands of readers could not have glanced over the error without somebody noticing it. The copilot's resurrection stayed there because Vonnegut meant for it to be there. The fact that so many people glance over it is a statement in sync with the theme of the book- the disrespect for human life during world war II and Dresden. We do not notice that the pilot does not actually die because he is just one of the many lives lost in the story. So it goes.
This theory also follows the idea that Billy's consciousness is a linear progression, not the scizophrenic dissassociated mess of physical moments which make up his life. Later in the book, Billy becomes more knowledgebable and possibly learns that the copilot survived after the crash happened.
My class had different views on the inconsistency but I wanted to see what the online community thought- was Vonnegut's writing a misprint or a statement?
Susie posts on 4/26/2007 10:34:25 AM
need an understanding of Vonneguts Timequake. What's the point? How does it compare to his other books?
Robert Daubert posts on 12/14/2006 3:05:36 PM
I also looked at this website to see if I could get an address to send him a letter. Maybe I am cynical, but K. Vonnegut is one of the few living people I admire and wanted to inform him of such. I have been reading his work since I was a teenager. I guess that Nietszche would be an influence in the thought that art is the saving grace of the soul for it is the forward momentum of libido that keeps the Aqua Permanens at bay-too bad it still caught Nietszche.
lorraine mceachern posts on 10/16/2006 12:32:09 AM
Thank you Mr.vonnegut,
You've coloured and touched both my mind and life,
posts on 9/21/2006 11:49:48 PM
read all his stuff- unique style and dark humour. sirens of titan was an epic- by the time it was over you felt you had been in every realm of existance possible. his non-sci-fi is also brilliant, full of childlike translations of adult issues, kurt is no-nonense yet full of humour. loving chuck p as well alex
posts on 9/3/2006 1:11:49 PM
I have a first edition, advanced copy of Vonnegut's first book, Player Piano. There were only 25 to 30 copies made of the advanced copy. If you're interested, please let me know.
Photos are available.
posts on 9/1/2006 10:48:45 AM
There are a few lines, in Palm Sunday I believe, in which VOnnegut talks about marraige; something along the lines of when people get divorced I wish they'd be honest with eachother and realize that it's impossible for two people to provide complete happiness to one another... along those lines.
Anyone know page numbers for this?
Joseph DeMarco posts on 2/21/2006 11:46:16 AM
This post is for Jessica...the easiest way to compare Slaughterhouse Five and Slapstick...would probably be to talk about death and repetition. They both have repetitive lines that are clearly about death...(And so it goes/Hi Ho)in Slaughter House Five it is clear that Vonnegut sees death as a natural part of life...death like war is evitable, "like trying to stop the sun from rising."
In slapstick however the Hi ho shows up as a hiccuping fear...a fear that that death will be a knocking soon for Mr. Vonnegut...and even though he is lonesome...it is clear he is not ready to go yet...
Jake posts on 2/21/2006 12:02:46 AM
Does anyone know if it is possible to send a letter to Mr. Vonnegut? I know e-mail is out of the question. I apologize if this is against the rules of this forum.
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