A Man Without A Country – A Review
Kurt Vonnegut chats with us about life, art, politics, and more.
I think it’s safe to say that anyone that has ever read Kurt Vonnegut has hoped to one day be able to sit down and chat with him, about everything from life and sex, to technology and politics. Well, with the 2005 collection of essays, A Man Without A Country, it’s the closest we can come to this wish. Vonnegut’s limitless wit will have you hooked and chuckling throughout every page.
To go along with his humorous introspective, Vonnegut supports his essays with playfully quaint illustrations. So not only can you sit and have a conversation with one of the greatest authors of our generation with this little collection, but you can also watch as he creates high-spirited drawings that will bring you to a weird junction of absurdity and gravity that you couldn’t think possible. It’s like reading A Man Without A Country shows us what it would be like to sit in a coffee shop with Vonnegut, as dribbles sketches on a napkin, and rambles about politics these days, and how he feels our country is holding up. It’s what I would imagine a perfect afternoon to be like.
Check this one out. It’s a quick read and endlessly entertaining. If you don’t believe me, here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the essays that will hopefully show you what you have to look forward to once you pick up this gem:
“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’”
“No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious & charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.”
“Here’s the news: I am going to sue the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company, manufacturers of Pall Mall cigarettes, for a billion bucks! Starting when I was only twelve years old, I have never chain-smoked anything but unfiltered Pall Malls. And for many years now, right on the package, Brown & Williamson have promised to kill me. But I am eighty-two. Thanks a lot, you dirty rats. The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon.”
– Nahuel F.A.