So it goes.

Dear Livingston Library Community,

Yesterday was Veterans Day, and I’ve been thinking about one of my all-time favorite authors, the late Kurt Vonnegut. In fact I love his Slaughterhouse-Five so much that I had its philosophical catchphrase of impermanence tattooed on my arm (see below).

Born out of Vonnegut’s own hellish tour of duty in World War II, Slaughterhouse-Five tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, a mild-mannered optometrist who comes “unstuck in time” after the firebombing of Dresden. Slaughterhouse-Five is a famous indictment of war. But re-reading the book, it’s clear that as much as Vonnegut hated warfare, he loved and admired his comrades at arms: “The nicest veterans...the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who'd really fought.”

AmyBsTat_SoItGoes.JPG

Oddly enough, Vonnegut did not approve of Veterans Day. He longed for its precursor, Armistice Day, from his youth, which commemorated the sudden end of fighting in World War I with a moment of silence at 11:11 AM on November 11th. And even more oddly enough, it turns out that November 11th was also Vonnegut’s birthday.

So won’t you join me in a belated moment of silence to remember Vonnegut, Armistice Day, and all the veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country?


All the best,

Amy

Director - Livingston Library