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On Vonnegut's Alias Kilgor Trout in Venus on the Half Shell....

philosophygirl78

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For anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of reading this wonderful piece of science fiction, please stop reading right here to not ruin the experience.... For those who have, my question this evening is regarding the end of the book..

A giant cockroach smoking a blunt answers the meaning of life? I actually had the pleasure of knowing Kurt... Back in college, I "babysat" his Collins Avenue condo while he was vacationing. He was an extraordinary man. Beyond Brilliant. I never made the effort to get into his thoughts and ask him about this wonderful book as well as Sirens of Titan, another diamond in literature... However, based on the talks I did have the honor to engage with, I would venture to say that he saw himself as that giant cockroach... Waiting, always waiting, always hoping, someone would ask him that one deeply pressing question / riddle....

The end of the book, "Why Not?" as the answer to the questions, "Why are put on this earth simply to suffer and die?" brings a chuckle sure, but also delves into a nihilistic view of perhaps just how meaningless life is... And why we create meaning out of the meaningless, simply to not feel alone...

IDK... I just, don't know... Do you?

xo, philosophygirl
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
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The end of the book, "Why Not?" as the answer to the questions, "Why are put on this earth simply to suffer and die?" brings a chuckle sure, but also delves into a nihilistic view of perhaps just how meaningless life is... And why we create meaning out of the meaningless, simply to not feel alone...

IDK... I just, don't know... Do you?

xo, philosophygirl

V survived WWII and its horror seemed to pursue him through life; however, his nihilism I suspect had genesis in childhood.
 

robrinay

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Actually Venus on the Half Shell was written by Philip Jose Farmer in the style of Kurt Vonnegut Jnr. under the pseudonym Kilgore Trout. I read it when first published but like you assumed it was by KVJ until years later. Ive read most if not all of Kurt's novels and enjoyed them - particularly Slaughterhouse 5 where I believe the fictional SciFi writer Trout is first mentioned or was it God Bless You Mr Rosewater- as a wonderful piece of irony Trout is the unread Master of SciFi - read Vonnegut to find out why?
 
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robrinay

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Slaughterhouse 5 covers his time as a prisoner in WW2 Dresden clearly a massively traumatic experience perhaps leading to post traumatic stress disorder and his lifelong struggle with depression?
 
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LizzieMaine

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Vonnegut wasn't the only one to turn to nihilism in the postwar era. The entire "Beat Generation" of writers did so -- some in reaction to wartime experiences, others in reaction to the intellectual emptiness and commercialized superficiality of postwar America. It was as much a reaction to the society he found himself living in as it was a reaction to personal experiences.
 

philosophygirl78

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Slaughterhouse 5 covers his time as a prisoner in WW2 Dresden clearly a massively traumatic experience perhaps leading to post traumatic stress disorder and his lifelong struggle with depression?

While Slaughterhouse 5 is his most popular work, I find Sirens of Titan to be his most influential work. Eerily, much of what he disguised in science fiction is a reality today... And if we proceed with his mind set in this novel, we will want to make sure that society has some sort of Ethics Council as a helicopter to advances... https://books.google.com/books/abou...urce=kp_read_button&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false
 

Bolero

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The end of the book, "Why Not?" as the answer to the questions, "Why are put on this earth simply to suffer and die?" brings a chuckle sure, but also delves into a nihilistic view of perhaps just how meaningless life is... And why we create meaning out of the meaningless, simply to not feel alone...

IDK... I just, don't know... Do you?...

and these are your thoughts ???


xo, philosophygirl

We exist and are free to think whatever, why is not an issue, Achievement is the ultimate reward within our existence...Bolero 2015
 

philosophygirl78

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445
Location
Aventura, Florida
The end of the book, "Why Not?" as the answer to the questions, "Why are put on this earth simply to suffer and die?" brings a chuckle sure, but also delves into a nihilistic view of perhaps just how meaningless life is... And why we create meaning out of the meaningless, simply to not feel alone...

IDK... I just, don't know... Do you?...

and these are your thoughts ???


xo, philosophygirl

We exist and are free to think whatever, why is not an issue, Achievement is the ultimate reward within our existence...Bolero 2015

I am a bit of a Nihilist at 'Heart"... Hah!
 

LizzieMaine

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Why is an elephant or a whale or a walrus put on the earth to suffer and die? Why is an orangutan or a zebu or a monitor lizard put on the earth to suffer and die? Why is a rat or a seagull or a cockroach put on the earth to suffer and die? What does it mean to suffer? How is the suffering of a starving human different from the suffering of a starving dog? Doesn't the dog suffer just as much, within his own capacity for suffering, as the human? What makes us think we're so special, anyway?

In another seven billion years, give or take, when the earth is a burnt cinder circling a cold, dead star, every human will be as dead and as forgotten as every cockroach. And all these debates and all these questions will be just as dead and just as forgotten. You want nihilism, I'll give you nihilism.
 

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