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Today's quote:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Slaughterhouse-Five

 

Kurt Vonnegut's book Slaughterhouse-Five contains this little gem of a dialogue: "Is it an anti-war book?" --- "Yes," I said. "I guess." --- "You know what I say to people when I hear they're writing anti-war books?" --- "No. What do you say?" --- "I say, 'Why don't you write an anti-glacier book instead?"

Which means, of course, that there will always be wars, and that they are as easy to stop as glaciers. And even if wars didn't keep coming like glaciers, there would still be plain old death.

I struggled to finish this book which is full of black humour, satiric voices, and incomparable imagination. I thought it would be completely 'unfilmable' until I saw the trailer of director George Roy Hill's movie by the same name. Full marks for trying and I've ordered the DVD.

Of course, the relentless fire-bombing of Dresden at a time when it was choked with hundreds of thousands of refugees escaping the advancing Red Army was one of those totally pointless and insane war crimes. As was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. As were the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, dropped for no other reason than to show the Ruskies that the Yanks could do it. But, of course, history is written by the victors.