2009-12-10

Slaughterhouse-Five

When Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse-Five writes that for the Tralfamadorians:
All moments, past, present and future always have existed, always will exist.
He's anticipating the ideas of Julian Barbour, who argues that time doesn't exist. That view seems to be part of Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe. The idea of the mathematical universe appeals to me, as it embraces the ideas of Barbour and also the idea of a multiverse, explained brilliantly in The Fabric Of Reality.


Anyway, back to the book. People who know about these things would say that it's post-modern. It refers to itself, the author appears, all sorts of things. Tristram Shandy I thought.

I must say that I can't stand stories that play these clever tricks. Vonnegut gets away with it this time because it's so brilliantly done, and because the subject suits it. Usually though, you can't beat a proper story. Just like Iain Banks writes.

Having said that, I find it liberating that one can write successfully in a variety of ways. Nietzsche wrote a book entirely of aphorisms. I hope that the important thing is having something to say, and the form can look after itself.

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