Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt

Slaughterhouse-Five

It is about 8:00pm and I just woke up from a bodacious nap.  After work naps are so rejuvenating, if done correctly.  Don’t nap until like 1:00am after work because then you can’t fall asleep and wake up the next day.  Just nap for a solid hour, maybe hour and a half while falling asleep to some stellar tunes (I chose The National – Virginia EP, which by the way is the basis for my blogs new title and URL,  Blank Slate and Tall Saint are two songs off the EP)  and then you’re good to go.  There you are, Napping for Pro’s.  I’m going to start doing a How-To segment on things that most definitely do not need How-To segments (Not really).

I am currently diving into my favourite meal while there is a torrential downpour going on outside.  I’m not a huge eater, but I love me some pasta any day of the week.  Seriously.  I could live off different kinds of pasta and sauces for the rest of my life and be totally content.  But yeah that rain is a comin’ down thunderstorm style.  I love thunderstorms, but really, who doesn’t?  They’re way more exciting than real life.

So I started reading Slaughterhouse-Five pretty recently and I just about passed the half way mark.  I am an extremely slow reader so most people would probably have finished it by now, but they can suck it.  It’s a very interesting book and I didn’t expect the subtle use of sci-fi laced throughout the book.  I love it.  It’s like adding this element where it takes you away from the original tone of the book and pulls you into a different world of concepts, which by the way, so cleverly tie in with the concepts in the main character’s real life.  And the idea of changing tone and even context  back and forth from a sci-fi perspective is a huge and significant plot device used in the book where it makes the clear distinction that this isn’t a perfect attempt at an anti-war book but a fantastic edition to science-fiction, but it isn’t at first apparent.

There was this one blatant  connection the author drew from the sci-fi part and his real life (I don’t want to deliberately spoil the book for those who haven’t read it) that stuck out to me as more than a coincidence.

The otherworldly figures in the book see time in a different way and in doing so they have this saying where when something terrible happens, or more specifically someone dies they say “So it goes” because when they perceive time it’s not linear but a grouping of moments which can be view in any order, so they often choose to view the positive parts of a life and ignore the negative.  When the story is told through the characters eye the author repeats that phrase as a common term, usually when a death occurs.  The authors biggest themes derive from the idea of ‘free will’ and that idea is put into question and reflected upon several times.  My favourite so far being when in the novel these certain Americans become prisoners of war close to the end of WW II.

“The American was astonished.  He stood up shakily, spitting out blood.  He’d had two teeth knocked out.  He had meant no harm by what he’d said, evidently, had no idea the guard would hear and understand.

“Why me? he asked the guard.

The guard shoved him back into the ranks.

“Vy you?  Vy anybody?” he said.”

I really liked that part because for me it was the first time the idea’s produced from the sci-fi bits of the book had bled into the characters real life.  The guard basically presented the idea of fate, and pre-determined outcome.  It doesn’t matter who it was or even why, it was going to always occur so there was no point in asking why.  The question of why is brought up a few times as well.  Why is an irrelevant topic, because in the otherworldly figures eyes everything has already occurred.

I just passed this page though with a peculiar image of a tombstone displaying the text Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, which I can only assume is the main character’s grave?  I actually don’t know yet, and it hasn’t explained it yet so I’ll just keep my thoughts to myself until it does.  I just thought it was interesting.

So I more or less spoiled parts of the book, but it’s hard to describe the concepts and the most interesting parts without giving some plot points away.  It was written in like 1969 and read by everyone on earth, so I think it’s safe to throw in a few spoilers.  Anyway, I am starting to love the book and I think it will get even more interesting in the second half.

That’s about all I wanted to talk about.  I’m not going to put in a Band Rec’ of the Day, because I don’t want to exhaust my library of recommendable tunes just yet, and I haven’t found anything super recently that is of note.  So I guess I that’s it.

Later!

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2 thoughts on “Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt

  1. I adore Kurt Vonnegut. I know Slaughterhouse Five is his famous book, but Cat’s Cradle and Galapagos are some of my favorites of his. His writing is just so matter-of-fact yet casual. Easy to read, but enlightening.

    also, naps are the best!! a quick power nap after work has saved my evening more than once.

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