Let’s Talk About it, Oklahoma’s 2018 series “Living with Limits,” continues September 18th with ‘Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)’
Dr. Harbour Winn, Oklahoma City University Professor of Emeritus of English, presents ‘Slaughterhouse-Five,’ by Kurt Vonnegut. In this novel Vonnegut juxtaposes and merges fantasies and events from his own life, as he says, “more or less.” Actually, it took him twenty-five years to come to terms with the disorienting effect of his presence at the fire-bombing of Dresden and be able to write this novel. Like Billy Pilgrim, the narrator (at times named Vonnegut) wants to write about the war without glorifying it, for he also is burdened with the napalm being dropped in. The satiric barbs and humor echo for Vonnegut his view of the glorified rendition of violence in war, an aberration that subjects people to enormous forces limiting the possibility to be an individual in the blind acceptance of socially acceptable violence. Unable to cope with his history, Billy time-travels to the science fiction world of the Tralfamadorians who are ignorant of the limits of death and finitude. Rarely has a critically acclaimed work been so deeply engrained in popular culture.
This presentation is a part of the Oklahoma Humanities Let’s Talk About It Oklahoma “Living with Limits.” All are welcome to attend.
All sessions take place on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM in Room 151 of Walker Center,
Petree College of Arts & Sciences, at NW 26th & N. Florida