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Henry Kissinger (#110 of 3)

In Library of America We Trust Kurt Vonnegut: Novels & Stories 1963-1973

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In Library of America We Trust: Kurt Vonnegut: Novels & Stories 1963-1973
In Library of America We Trust: Kurt Vonnegut: Novels & Stories 1963-1973

“The drama of any air raid on a civilian population, a gesture in diplomacy to a man like Henry Kissinger, is about the inhumanity of many of man’s inventions to man. That is the dominant theme of what I have written during the past forty-five years or so.” So says Kurt Vonnegut in a special preface to Slaughterhouse-Five, a preface that is now in the final section of an excellent new Library of America collection of Vonnegut’s early novels and writings.

The Library of America is a nonprofit publisher that has, since 1982, been releasing a canon of our nation’s finest fiction and prettiest poetry, our most serious speeches and most legitimate journalism. LoA books are hardbound, printed on Bible paper, and contain a sewn-in ribbon bookmark and calligraphy on the cover. Many editions top 1,000 pages in length. The texts are edited by scholars and feature notes, a chronology of the author’s life, and corrections to the errors of earlier editions. What they lack in the scholarship of a Norton Critical Edition they make up for in elegance, in providing at a reasonable price the pleasures of a solidly bound, densely packed, good old book.

The most recent LoA release is Kurt Vonnegut: Novels and Stories 1963-1973. The bulk of the volume consists of four of Vonnegut’s better novels: Cat’s Cradle, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Breakfast of Champions. Also included are short stories, speeches, addenda to Slaughterhouse-Five, as well as a very haunting and dear letter Vonnegut wrote to his family in 1945 after surviving the fire bombing of Dresden.

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2011: Bobby Fischer Against the World

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Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2011: Bobby Fischer Against the World
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2011: Bobby Fischer Against the World

Unfortunate for documentary veteran Liz Garbus and her newest entry, Bobby Fischer Against the World, the film When We Were Kings already exists. Otherwise, we might be better convinced by this particular vision of a vibrant and controversial talent, pitted against a commanding opponent on previously unconsidered soil, the weight of an entire socio-political movement heavily and uncomfortably on his shoulders, the words of notorious figures guiding the viewer through one of the monumental events of not only sport, but America’s role on the international stage.