Bought this book three years ago, much later than I heard this book (Slaughterhouse 5). I’ve read Vonnegut’s other books in translation, much earlier, but what only remains is “his attitude”, which later on I understood that it’s his black humour. I agree with the interpretation this time, not against.
My trip to Dresden was 6 years ago, and I don’t remember a single thing about it. Only when I tried to pick up the little delicate owl carving in an egg shell, the old shopkeeper told me not to touch it, because it was expensive. Alright, it was in an egg shell, tough call. I bought it. Displayed on the wine shelf in China, I bet nobody remembers or cares where this owl comes from.
After reading the book, I re-watched the video I took 6 years ago in Dresden. Windy and it was in front a busy river. I had no idea which river, and also no interest. The only thing I knew was the city was re-built after the destruction in WWII. Good work.
But Vonnegut told us, it was painful. Through the mind of Billy Pilgrim (what a wonderful name!), we saw those bloody faces and treasures on the corpses of dead people, doesn’t matter enemy or else. Recently heard a TED talk show, the therapist told us, the most efficient way of curing PTSD and constantly seeing a bloody face is to paint on a mask. We all wear mask after all.
Vonnegut also made time traveling not bizarre at all. It’s so normal under the dome of WAR. Sometimes, the humour does not make you laugh but clog your throat.
I didn’t know bombing Dresden was a bigger disaster than atomic bomb. Well, it’s wrong to say which one is bigger via statistic comparison. We all lose.
The book is a masterpiece. Worth reading.
And, yes, Susan Sontag told us, the world is a charnel house.