1 04 2007

vonnegut.jpgIt’s funny how memory works, or in this case doesn’t work.  Earlier, in the post Taking Hits, I mentioned the Kilgore Trout book Venus on the Half Shell, in which I thought appeared the story of a place where “equality” was taken to such extremes that everything and everyone was reduced to the lowest common denominator.  I was talking to my friend Larry last night about the book, because we had read it at the same time about 30 years ago when we were high school classmates.  Larry had read my earlier post and, like me, was surprised to learn that the author of the book was not Kurt Vonnegut working under the name of one of his characters, but rather one Philip Jose Farmer.  We were both reading a lot of Vonnegut back then.  While we were talking, it dawned on me that the name of the character in the equality story was Harrison Bergeron.  Today I Googled the name and found that the story of the same name is not in Venus, but Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House, which I read around the same time along with Breakfast of Champions and Slaughterhouse Five.  It’s suddenly become easier for me to understand how Civil War veterans could get things “wrong” in memoirs written years after the fact (see how deftly I brought this post on topic?).