New Classics Read: Cat’s Cradle

I’d fallen out of love with Kurt a few years back. It was after reading A Man Without a Country. He felt so unhappy and cynical. I just didn’t want any more of that in my life. After watching a documentary about him, Unstuck in Time, I wanted to give him another chance. He a real person, and real people aren’t always pleasant.

Cat's Cradle cover

I’ve decided to read Cat’s Cradle for two reasons. First, it’s his first popular book and the documentary made it sound like a life changer. It was written in 1963, long before I was born.

The second reason is because it’s on my Classics Club reading list. Bonus!

Let’s go!

“Have you ever read the speech he made when he accepted the Nobel Prize? This is the whole speech:

‘Ladies and Gentleman, I stand before you now because I never stopped dawdling like an eight-year-old on a spring morning on his way to school. Anything can make me stop and wonder, and sometimes learn. I am a very happy man. Thank you.’”

Same here, much to the chagrin of anyone trying to go for a “hike” with me, since I’m especially curious about nature. The addition of a smart phone that works almost anywhere means that I will be taking pictures, looking things up as I go, and making notes for later use, far more than I will be exerting myself physically.

If I could, I’d walk everywhere with a journal and sketchpad, stop and watch people and things, and daydream about them.

Hmm… maybe I should do that more often.

Young Castle called me “Scoop.” “Good morning, Scoop. What’s new in the word game?”

“I might ask the same of you,” I replied.

“I’m thinking of calling a general strike of all writers until mankind finally comes to its senses. Would you support it?”

“Do writers have a right to strike? That would be like the police or the firemen walking out.”

“Or the college professors.”

“Or the college professors,” I agreed. I shook my head. “No, I don’t think my conscience would let me support a strike like that. When a man becomes a writer, I think he takes on a sacred obligation to produce beauty and enlightenment and comfort at top speed.”

All through this book, I’m trying to figure out if he’s being sarcastic or not. I think that’s why I’m not a fan of his work. It makes me nervous. I want to know what you think, Kurt. Don’t mask it behind sarcasm. It confuses me.

That’s something to explore as well, a bit of personal insight is needed. Not today, though. I’m not in the mood.

What do you think? Can writer’s strike in times of crisis? Probably not even if they wanted to. We tend to want to be heard no matter what. Then again, maybe that’s why I get so irritated with Kurt. Here I am wanting beauty and enlightenment, a bit of comfort, and all he gives me is more questions and concerns.

That’s all I have today. Stay alert out there, folks. There’s a lot to take in.

Click over to my post Postmodernism: Final Thoughts on Cat’s Cradle for more.


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