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Cat's Cradle por Kurt Vonnegut
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Cat's Cradle (original 1963; edição 1969)

por Kurt Vonnegut (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
19,405251156 (4.11)377
Vonnegut's satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet's ultimate fate. Features a midget as the protagonist; a complete, original theology created by a calypso signer; and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and funny.
Membro:gregheynen
Título:Cat's Cradle
Autores:Kurt Vonnegut (Autor)
Informação:Dell (1969), Edition: Reissue, 192 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Cat's Cradle por Kurt Vonnegut (1963)

1960s (5)
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Inglês (243)  Catalão (2)  Italiano (1)  Francês (1)  Sueco (1)  Espanhol (1)  Hebraico (1)  Todas as línguas (250)
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On the way to Berlin, Dresden, and Hann. Münden. Vonnegut, a second generation American of German descent seemed to be a good choice for the flight. I usually find it easy to knack over a Penguin paperback on a long-haul flight, but not this time. I've been struggling to read deeply since a major life event early last year has shifted the focus of my spare time.

I purchased a Penguin Vonnegut at the airport for some light reading but didn't manage to finish until some months later. I found Vonnegut's work to be interesting but a little far-fetched - it smacked of a Woody Allen style of science fiction (see the trailer for "The Sleeper") that was somehow banal yet allegorical in a mildly interesting way.

Much of the social commentary was lost on me. I suppose for a conservative reader of the early 1960s the foot-touching free love may have been a bit out there, but for me it was all old hat. I had the feeling of the 'thirteen days' and the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

Usually I am a fan of history but Vonnegut is rather economical with his contextual elements - an Animal Farm kind of focus on the sociological order rather than the 'iceberg' cerebral development approach. It was interesting today that I listened to a podcast on Jack London's literary style.

This sent me on a quest to look back at some of my previous readings of several of London's works. One thing I found was that I have been critical of London's racism (poignant in the wake of the Black Lives Matters protests beginning in the US and now happening in solidarity but focused on Indigenous deaths in custody here in Australia).

But I was also pleased to note that I had picked up on the problem (Jack London's To Build a Fire):
The trouble with him was that he was without imagination.
That's how I felt about Vonnegut's work. Until the meaning of the title came to my attention. The cat's cradle.

It's a child's illusion. It requires one's imagination. One flick of the hands and the cradle is gone. It doesn't exist.

I am usually way off but occasionally, like with Jack London, I am on the mark.

I found in Cat's Cradle the Stoic technique of the "bird's eye view". Once we view the world from above, we realise two things.

First, the insignificance of our petty existence. The arguments of today, the idiot tailgating me on the Hume highway last night, flashing his lights and sounding his horn. All nothing. I remember noting too, with flying, that once you are above the clouds it is always a perfect day, It is all a matter of perspective.

Second, we are all in this together. I am currently reading Ryan Holiday's Stillness is the Key. He mentions Edgar Mitchell's famous words upon viewing the world from space:
You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, 'Look at that, you son of a bitch.’
It is interesting that just this week, Mitchell's words have resurfaced in what has been called the world's first political protest in near space, but targeted at Donald Trump.

In the above musings, and almost two months after I finished reading Cat's Cradle, I realised Vonnegut's genius. It is all an illusion. There are hands, there is string, there is imagination. The cat's cradle is made up of reality and intangibles. Neither works without the other.

Fake news, The Guardian versus The Australian and all of the left versus right is more of the same nonsense. It is not imagination, it is not creative, it is dogmatic, divisive, and dodgy. Yet the people believe.

This is what I get from Vonnegut. It is not the illusion, but that we make sense out of the world through our "bounded rationality" combined with our sense of imagination. Not fake or make-believe, but creative and expressive and from the depths of our intellect.

Regrettably, Kurt Vonnegut reminds us that without imagination (the creative as opposed to the conspiratorial kind), we are doomed to an inevitable end. Like London's "everyman" in To Build a Fire, we are not reflecting on our mortality in the face of nature, but rather imagining ourselves to be something more significant and smacking of hubris. For London:
The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances.

But London, too, was a fan of eugenics. Vonnegut was subtler, less egotistical, more realistic. If I had to sum up Cat's Cradle, I would say that London had too much imagination, whereas Vonnegut is the Goldilocks' little bear version of "just right".

P.S. It's a shame that The Three Bears was originally written by Robert Southey and not the Grimm Brothers to fit my German theme. And the original Goldilocks was an old woman and the three bears were bachelors. But you can use your imagination! I visited the Grimm Brothers Museum in Kassel, Germany, on 3rd December 2019. ( )
3 vote madepercy | Jan 30, 2021 |
This is my very first Kurt Vonnegut's book and I regret not a thing. The themes explored are how the irresponsible use of science can make such a destructive weapon and how absurd religion works in meddling with human life. It is also a bit ethnographical since Vonnegut got his Anthropology degree from this book. A delightful read for me and definitely a Zahmahkibo. This book profoundly explores pretty much the themes of all Kurt Vonnegut's books. If you think more about it, the more depressing it becomes. Hmm, a bokomaru would be preferable right now. ( )
  bellacrl | Jan 19, 2021 |
A satire unlike any other, full stop. You will find nothing sacred in this book; it is Vonnegut's best work. ( )
  danrk | Jan 10, 2021 |
I had read this years ago but had forgotten nearly everything other than the very basic premise of Ice-9. It's a delightful book. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
After lively and heated discussion at work over the NPR Readers’ Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy booklist, I find myself with stacks of sci-fi and fantasy books to read, so the blog may be a little heavy on that genre for a while. That said, I have been waiting to read this particular book for several years — ten to be exact. In 2001, I was in my first year of community college, and my English professor mentioned the plot of a book in which someone created a substance that would turn liquid water into a solid at normal temperature. That description stuck with me, but in the early days of Wikipedia, a casual Google search didn’t provide any results, and though I was intrigued by the story, I filed it away for future examination. The plot has stuck in the back of my head for the past ten years, and earlier this month I ran across a blog called “Better Book Titles,” and this post. And here we are.

The story is narrated in short chapters by a young aspiring author named John, who is conducting research for a book called “The Day the World Ended.” His investigations lead him to try and find the three children of Felix Hoenikker, a physicist who worked on the atomic bomb. John also meets scientists who had worked with Dr. Hoenikker, including one very odd fellow named Dr. Breed, who rambles on about different types of ice. Eventually he finds the eldest son, Franklin Hoenikker, on the island of San Lorenzo, serving as their minister of science and progress, and engaged to the dictator’s adopted daughter, Mona. John sets off to San Lorenzo, where he is immersed in the local culture and peoples.

I must admit to being a little ambivalent about this book. Part of this may be due to the fact that I had been envisioning it as a more serious science fiction novel, instead of the satirical, ironic story that it is. Still, this is a quick, easy read, and I can certainly see the appeal. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
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"Cat's Cradle" is an irreverent and often highly entertaining fantasy concerning the playful irresponsibility of nuclear scientists. Like the best of contemporary satire, it is work of a far more engaging and meaningful order than the melodramatic tripe which most critics seem to consider "serious."
 

» Adicionar outros autores (21 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Vonnegut, Kurtautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Curtoni, VittorioTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
House, JulianArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kapari, MarjattaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Koeppl, LíviaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kunkel, BenjaminIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pelham, DavidArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Roberts, TonyNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Vezzoli, DelfinaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Nothing in this book is true.
'Live by the foma* that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.'
The Books of Bokonon. I:5
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"No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat's cradle is nothing but a bunch of X's between somebody's hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X's..."
"And?"
"No damn cat, and no damn cradle."
'Aamons, Mona', the index said, 'adopted by
Monzano in order to boost Monzano's
popularity, 194-199, 216n; childhood in com
pound of House of Hope and Mercy, 63-81;
childhood romance with P. Castle, 72f; death of father, 89ff; death of mother, 92f; embarrassed
by role as national erotic symbol, 80, 95, 166n.,
209, 247n., 400-406, 566n., 678; engaged to P.
Castle, 193; essential naivete, 67-71, 80, 95f,
116n., 209, 274n., 400-406, 566n., 678; lives with
Bokonon, 92-98, 196-197; poems about, 2n., 26,
114, 119, 311, 316, 477n., 501, 507, 555n., 689,
718ff, 799ff, 800n., 841, 846ff, 908n., 971, 974;
poems by, 89, 92, 193; returns to Monzano, 199?
returns to Bokonon, 197; runs away from
Bokonon, 199; runs away from Monzano, 197;
tries to make self ugly in order to stop being
erotic symbol to islanders, 80, 95f, 116n., 209,
247n., 400-406, 566n., 678; tutored by Bokonon,
63-80; writes letter to United Nations, 200;
xylophone virtuoso, 71'.
I showed this index entry to
She hated people who thought too much. At that moment she struck me as an appropriate representative for almost all mankind.
,"...I was very upset about how Americans couldn't imagine what it was like to be something else, to be something else and proud of it."
"The highest possible form of treason," said Minton, "is to say that Americans aren't loved wherever they go, whatever they do. Claire tried to make the point that American foreign policy should recognise hate rather than imagine love."
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Wikipédia em inglês (1)

Vonnegut's satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet's ultimate fate. Features a midget as the protagonist; a complete, original theology created by a calypso signer; and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and funny.

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Média: (4.11)
0.5 3
1 36
1.5 20
2 160
2.5 54
3 864
3.5 215
4 1985
4.5 240
5 2010

Penguin Australia

3 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Penguin Australia.

Edições: 0141189347, 0141045442, 0241951607

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