Kurt Vonnegut is dead.I’ll just let that seep in for a few seconds.Dead. So it goes.Vonnegut was my favourite American author; he probably was my favourite author overall but I’m compartmentalising at the moment so I won’t get too mired in the realisation that it’s going to take a while to find a new writer to savour and enjoy in the way I did Kurt. Of all the books he wrote ‘Mother Night’ is the one that resonates the most with me. It deals with personal responsibility and the notion that it really does matter that you say what you mean. It was also made into a beautiful film starring Nick Nolte (with a cameo by Vonnegut towards the end) and I may well sit myself down tonight and rewatch it.’Mother Night’ is about an American, Howard W. Campbell, Jr. (who makes a cameo in ‘Slaughterhouse Five’) who, somewhat by design, becomes the spokesperson for Nazi racism, despite the fact that he doesn’t hold to those tenets. I originally write a plot summary here, but, frankly, you should just go read the book. It’s short, easy to read and should stay with you for the rest of your life. A friend of mine would recommend ‘Bluebeard.’ This is also good, but ‘Mother Night’ wins through, on this blog at least, because it’s vaguely related to Conspiracy Theories.Vaguely. I just wanted to join in the chorus of people who can’t believe Kurt Vonnegut is dead.Dead.So it goes.
About Matthew Dentith
Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.All posts by Matthew