jocelyncee: (dark)
[personal profile] jocelyncee
Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday at the age of 84. Most know him for his longer works like Slaughterhouse Five, but I was introduced to him in English class with Harrison Bergeron. If you haven't read HB, I suggest you do. It's a pretty good illustration of the patriarchy, for one thing, whether or not Mr. Vonnegut intended that.

Requiescat in pace.

I posted this yesterday to the geek blog as an addendum to another post (mainly because Joel told me about it while I was still writing).

I don't really think I've done justice to how much Harrison Bergeron had an effect on me. I don't even remember whose class I read it for, or what grade I was in. What I remember is the injustice of not being allowed to be oneself, of being handicapped in order to be "normal", and as a misfit smart kid in a middling size town in Arkansas, I could completely understand *that*.

I don't remember reading anything truly science fiction before that, either. I may have done, but HB is the first science fiction I remember vividly. I mean, I'd read Lord of the Rings, but that's more fantasy (a genre I still enjoy to this day).

I think Harrison Bergeron was the first short story I truly loved.

As often happens with first loves, I find I haven't really thought about HB in quite some time. I probably haven't read it in 10 years. But now I'm thinking of it again, I might just have to go back and remember. I hope (and suspect) that it will stand up well to my grown-up, literature-analysis influenced perspective just as well as it appealed to my teenage sensibilities.

Date: 2007-04-13 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Okay, so you intrigued me to read the story and I did. It was amazing!! I love that kind of stuff though. Ever since I read "1984" in high school, I have been enthralled with Sci-fi, futuristic, horrible, over-powering government type stories. You really should read the "Uglies" trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. They are juvenile fiction books, but they keep adults just as enthralled. them and let me know what you think. You could get all three novels knocked out in a weekend I'm sure. LOL Thanks for the story.

Date: 2007-04-13 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Interestingly enough, I really *despised* 1984. I was horrified by that vision of the future, so I "hated" that book.

I might re-read that one as well, to see how my perspective might have changed. I will look up the Scott Westerfield. I have a particular affinity for some juvenile fiction (especially Garth Nix's Abhorsen series -- highly recommended!).

Date: 2007-04-13 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Now there's a short story I haven't read in years. I'm glad you reminded me of it.

Oh, "Hi" by the way. I'm Kota from Nightgig.

Date: 2007-04-15 12:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hi Kota/Kevin. :) (Yes, I know who you are. I even know what you sound like, b/c I just listened to the most recent Gigcast you were on. ^^)

Thanks for stopping by! :) (I'm friending you, btw, just in case I haven't yet.)


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