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"Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade"


"Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade" is a novel written by the American author Kurt Vonnegut. The novel was published in 1989.
The novel deals with the theme of the massacre of Desda, to which Vonnegut has witnessed as a witness.
Dresden was all one big blaze. That single blaze was devouring every organic substance, every thing capable of burning. It was not prudent to leave the shelter before noon the next day. When the Americans and their guards came out, the sky was black with smoke. The sun was a pinhead. Dresden was now like the moon, nothing but minerals. The stones were hot. All around were dead. 1,300,000 people died in the senseless massacre. The memories of the war and the massacre are difficult to face for Kurt who has removed almost everything and what he remembers wants and does not want to talk about.
In the novel Billy Pilgrim, the alter ego of the author, is kidnapped by extraterrestrials, the trafalmadoriani, and becomes a spastic temporal, in the sense that he can travel in time and live and relive all the moments of his life. Hence the brilliant idea that allowed him to remember by detaching the emotional current to the narrative.
The sci-fi touch is the expedient that allows him to move from dramatic memories to beautiful memories, from terrible memories to completely different episodes, making the story bizarre, fun but never sad or dramatic. The drama is hidden by strangeness and temporal shifts and by the way of looking at the protagonist's things.
In the novel there is also a kind of prophet, the science fiction writer Trout, not very popular to tell the truth.
The Trafalmadorian philosophy is very useful to accept the inevitable without too much drama. Journeys from one moment to the next in his life make Billy not relive his memories too intensely but in a more philosophical way. This does not detract from the content. We are all insects in a block of amber, says Billy's extraterrestrial philosophy, what has happened will always happen and there is nothing that can be done except to fix the memory on the most beautiful memories thinking that the follies and the senselessness are parts of the landscape of our life, inevitable like a river or a mountain.
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Vonnegut, Kurt - "Slaughterhouse-Five"