Friday, April 17, 2009

Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five, and the Fire-bombing of Dresden

I'm reading Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. I'm pretty sure I read this before -- the words like granfalloon and karass are familiar to me, but I don't remember the story, so what the heck if I'm reading it again, huh? My daughter loaned it to me, along with Breakfast of Champions. I really liked Slaughterhouse-Five. I didn't know anything about the bombing of Dresden, except that beautiful Dresden was destroyed, so I got Slaughterhouse-Five because it was about Dresden. After that I got interested in Vonnegut.

My friend John in Orange County, California, told me that the bombing of Dresden was much like the bombing of Guernica by the Germans. He said to this day the Spanish won't allow Lufthansa to land because Lufthansa planes bombed Guernica. But the Germans allow us to land our planes there despite the destruction of Dresden. I guess that is because the Germans lost the war, so they have to take what they got. My cousin Curt Siodmak -- he was 92 when I corresponded with him -- was very bitter about the bombing of Dresden. It was in his autobiography. It makes me hurt to think about it.

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