Thursday, April 12, 2007

"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."

- Kurt Vonnegut

Thanks to the big K.V. for inspiring several generations of counter-culture thinkers and doers, and for consistently making money for independent booksellers for the past 55 years. Ben from Honky-Tonk Dragon may have scooped me on this one (see below), but here's some more info:

Obit. from the Washington Post

From Wikipedia's Entry:

Personal life and death

He married his childhood sweetheart, Jane Marie Cox, after returning from World War II, but the couple separated in 1970. He did not divorce Cox until 1979, but from 1970 to 2000, Vonnegut lived with the woman who would later become his second wife, photographer Jill Krementz. Krementz and Vonnegut were married after the divorce from Cox was finalized.

He had seven children: he shared three with his first wife, adopted his sister Alice's three children when she died of cancer, and adopted another child, Lily. Two of these children have published books, including his only biological son,
Mark Vonnegut, who wrote The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity, about his experiences in the late 1960s and his major psychotic breakdown and recovery; the tendency to insanity he acknowledged may be partly hereditary, influencing him to take up the study of medicine and orthomolecular psychiatry. Mark was named after Mark Twain, whom Vonnegut considered an American saint, and to whom he bears some resemblance, in both style and appearance.

His daughter Edith Vonnegut, an artist, has also had her work published in a book entitled Domestic Goddesses. Edith was once married to Geraldo Rivera. She was named after Kurt Vonnegut's mother, Edith Lieber. His youngest daughter is Nanette, named after Nanette Schnull, Vonnegut's paternal grandmother.

Of Vonnegut's four adopted children, three are his nephews: James, Steven and Kurt Adams; the fourth is Lily, a girl he adopted as an infant in 1982. James, Steven and Kurt were adopted after a traumatic week in 1958, in which their father was killed when his commuter train went off an open drawbridge in New Jersey, and their mother — Kurt's sister Alice — died of cancer. In Slapstick or Lonesome No More, Kurt recounts that Alice's husband died two days before Alice herself. Her family tried to hide the knowledge from her, but she found out when an ambulatory patient gave her a copy of the New York Daily News, a day before she herself died. The fourth and youngest of the boys, Peter Nice, went to live with a first cousin of their father in Birmingham, Alabama as an infant. Lily is a singer and actress.

On January 31, 2000, a fire destroyed the top story of his home. Vonnegut suffered smoke inhalation and was hospitalized in critical condition for four days. He survived, but his personal archives were destroyed. After leaving the hospital, he recuperated in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Vonnegut died at the age of 84 on April 11, 2007, in Manhattan, New York, after a fall at his Manhattan home several weeks prior resulted in irreversible brain injuries.

Rest in Pieces Spread Out Across Eternity. You live on through your words into forever.

Vonnegut Stuff on You Tube

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