Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, Dead at 84

In this one sentence, the definitive diagnose of what’s wrong with the modern “academy”:

“Although he was disdained by some critics who thought his work was too popular and accessible, his fiction inspired volumes of scholarly comment as well as websites maintained by young fans who have helped keep all 14 of his novels in print over a 50-year career.”

A brilliant writer and a witty, engaging, insightful satirist is, “disdained” because his writing was too easy for the proletariat to understand. No criticism of the substance of what his writing meant. Just ad hominem slurs that his writing was too easy for the layman to understand.

So, according to the “critics”, was Vonnegut's sin the fact that his writing was, “popular and accessible?” Or are the critics merely stung by the truth of Vonnegut’s rebuke?

Even in death, it's all about the critics and their egos, isn't it? Could their nihilism be any more venal and disgusting?

Rhetorical question, obviously.