“I have a new Kurt Vonnegut book for you”
“Isn’t he dead?”
“I think he is, maybe it has only just been translated”
“Let’s see what it says in the book”
So is he too writing from the grave?
Look at the Birdie is a collection of 14 short stories (first published according to the jacket), however some sounded rather familiar, but this could be due to Vonnegut’s unique style. Look at the Birdie is also the name of the 12th story which I think is the best of the bunch due to its brilliant and original underlying idea – I like ideas that switch the cause and effect and take advantage of opportunities (the legendary Phillip K. Dick had many such ideas too).
The phrase “Look at the Birdie” sounded familiar but even though I know Vonnegut’s works I could not recall where exactly I had seen it before, neither was Google any help.
One of the things I like best about his writing is that the stories are timeless, and even though they do have a set time & location, they could just have easily occurred elsewhere and elsewhen, which makes them great for any time. When your idea is good, you are not too dependent on the details surrounding you.
Translating Vonnegut is quite a challenge and Nadav Dror has stood up to it nicely though I do intend to lay my hands on an English copy some time (&place).
This post is also available in: Hebrew