Posted by: Yorgos | January 2, 2009

Text 34 – Cat’s Cradle

And she went strolling up among the petrified thousands, still laughing. She paused about midway up the slope and faced me. She called down to me, ‘Would you wish any of these alive again, if you could? Answer me quickly.

‘Not quick enough with your answer,’ she called playfully, after half a minute had passed. And, still laughing a little, she touched her finger to the ground, straightened up, and touched the finger to her lips and died.

This passage if from Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. Out of the three books I have read by him (the other two being Slaughterhouse 5 and Breakfast of Champions) this is probably the weakest, but in no means a weak book; I don’t want to go into details why it is a good book, but not his best. I am not sure I even know why; what I know, though, is that the passage above is another gasp moment. In its tragedy, it has lightness and simplicity, just like how Italo Calvino would have wanted it. I read the paragraph (particularly the second one; I quoted the first one for context) over and over again, for all the reasons that make me love a book.

I don’t want to explain what happens in the paragraph and why she (whoever she is) dies. You will just have to read the book.

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