کتاب گهواره گربه

اثر کورت ونه گات از انتشارات افق - مترجم: علی اصغر بهرامی-داستان علمی تخیلی

ویژگی آثار وونگات طنز سیاه و نگاه انتقادی اوست. او می گوید:« ... یکی از کاریکاتورهای محبوب من دو نفر را نشان می دهد که به دیوار شش متری سلول زندان زنجیر شده اند. مچ دست و قوزک پاهایشان در زنجیر است. بالای دیوار پنجره کوچکی است که حفاظ دارد و حتی یک موش هم نمی تواند از آن خارج شود. با این حال یکی از آن ها به دیگری می گوید:« نقشة من این است که ...» «گهواره گربه» رمانی است درباره شاید مسئله روز: نابودی جهان و زندگی به دست انسان. طنز سیاه وونگات و نگاه انتقادی اش از «گهواره گربه» رمانی جذاب و ژرف پدید آورده است؛


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خیلی خوب و خوشخوان
کتاب 400 صفحه س و وقتی شروعش میکنید اصلا متوجه گذشت زمان نمیشید و یهر سر بلند میکنید میبینید 50 صفحه خوندین
ونه گوت پیامبری آفریده که آموزه هاش راهگشای زندگی توی این دنیای پوچ و بی معنیه
باکون، پیامبری که خوشبین نیست، وعده الکی نمیده و توصیه هایی میکنه که خودتون میدونید!
کتاب از 127 بخش کوچیک تشکیل شده
طنز خیلی خوب و تلخی داره
و البته مطالب این کتاب یک ذره اش هم راست نیست

مشاهده لینک اصلی
بعد از تمام کردنش می‌خندیدم و همزمان به خودم می‌گفتم که معنی @خنده تلخ@ دقیقا همین است. احساس می‌کردم یک نفر مرا دست انداخته و در عین حال احساس می‌کردم که می‌خواهم گریه کنم، انگار که واقعیات مخوفی را برای نخستین بار فهمیده باشم. هرچند نخستین بار نبود، اما شیوه بیانش، شاید فرق داشت.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Cats Cradle: Vonneguts String Game


@
Cats Cradle, First Edition,Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Published in 1963, @Cats [email protected] is Kurt Vonneguts fourth novel. I consider it one of the great satirical works of the 20th Century. Often referred to as a modern Mark Twain, Vonneguts view of American society more fully embraces a society and its group values, while Twains targets for his biting wit were more specifically aimed, although with the same verve and joy in the revelation of the foibles of life.

@
Kurt Vonnegut circa 1963

Placing the central character in a supporting role, Vonnegut opens @Cats [email protected] with the narrative statement of an otherwise anonymous observer of life. @Call me Jonah,@ he writes, echoing Melvilles opening to Moby Dick, @Call me Ishmael.

Jonah, as the biblical character was, would prefer to be a neutral observer of life. Jonahs goal is to write a history of the day America dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not what it was like in Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but what it was like to be an American.

Its been a tenet of the rules of human behavior that its easier to drop a bomb on somebody.

@
Paul Tibbets gives a wave from the B-29 he named for his [email protected], Mom! Youre never gonna guess what Im about to [email protected]

Youre not down there to see the damage you did. Its in that dirty, gritty face to face business when you see the face of an enemy disappear in a cloud of red mist, after youve pulled the trigger you may have some problems.

@
What Tibbets and his crew didnt see.


To capture the essence of what it was like to be alive on that day, Jonah searches for and finds the children of Felix Hoenekker, a co-inventor of the atomic bomb.

Hoenekker has been dead for years. However,his children, Frank, Angela, and Newt are very much alive. Newt, the youngest Hoenekker is a whimsical character, an oddity, not only on the basis of his parentage, but also that he is a midget.

Newt offers information that is critical to one of the central themes of @Cats [email protected] He informs Jonah that he did not ask about the most significant response his father had to the successful test of the atomic bomb. When fellow scientist, a stand in for Robert Oppenheimer,whom Vonnegut does not name, speaks of the sin he and his fellow scientists have created, Professor Hoenekkers response is stunning. @What is a [email protected]

@
Robert Oppenheimer, Los Alamos, NM, 1945, quoted from the Bhagava Gita, @Now I am become Death, the destroyer of [email protected]

During the test, Hoenekker is playing the childrens game @Cats [email protected] Hence, the title, and the degree of Hoenekkers detachment from the consequences of his contribution to the nuclear age.

Vonnegut, following his service in World War II, was employed by General Electric. His job was to write about the smartest guys in the room and put a human face on them. The company was known for allowing its scientists free rein in theoretical research. And, remember that wonderful slogan of GE once upon a time. @GE--We bring good things to life!

Vonnegut realized that science was capable of wreaking catastrophic results when research led to the development of products capable of being put to destructive use if allowed to fall into the wrong hands. Hoenekker is modeled on a scientist working for GE at the time Vonnegut was earning his paycheck there. In fact, the man, who shall remain nameless here, joked about creating the very substance which would be the genie let out of the bottle in @Cats [email protected]

Not only did Hoenekker help build the atomic bomb, it seems he developed a substance Ice-9. For Hoenekker it was an amusement resulting from an exercise of the intellect. However, Ice-9, if allowed to come into contact with moisture of any sort, turned any object into solid ice. The implications are obvious.

Jonah accompanies Angela and Newt Hoenekker to the Island of San Lorenzo. Oldest brother, Frank is the small countrys Major General, serving dictatorial leader Papa Monzano. Frank is next in line to become President of the Island. Monzano is quite ill.

Throughout the novel, expounding on the indifference towards the actual results of scientific results, Jonah learns that each Hoenekker heir carries a piece of the deadly Ice-9.

Possibly good might triumph over evil. Perhaps some divine intervention might prevent the release of this deadly substance. Where is God when life hangs in the balance?

Why, God is nowhere to be found. Vonneguts expressions of his opinion of religion have changed throughout his life. He has gone from believer, to agnostic, to atheist, depending which interview you read and the mood in which Vonnegut was found by the particular interviewer at the time.

But in @Cats Cradle,@ religion is represented by a mischievous character named Bokonon who turns religion on its head. Bokonon doesnt hesitate to include in his teachings that all religions are lies.

However, Vonnegut does not allow Bokonon to leave the matter as simply as that. The question is decidedly more complex. It is not that God does not exist, he is merely indifferent. God paid his dues. He made man out of mud, gave him a planet with everything he needed in it. A little worship would be nice, but, hey! Jobs done. Time to retire. Youre on your own.

Perhaps that is Vonneguts most terrifying premise. Who needs God, when Man is perfectly capable of making an absolute mess out of a world that was working just fine when Man was given it?

The government of San Lorenzo is ostensibly Christian in its religious belief. The practice of Bokonism is an offense punishable by death. The implement of execution is called the Hook. You get caught practicing Bokonism, you get the Hook. Papa Monzano has made it clear, the HOOK is especially reserved for the man himself, Bokonon.

Papa Monzano turns a blind eye to the fact that all San Lorenzoans practice Bokonism. The Book Of Bokonon may not be printed or published. However, those books are everywhere, carefully copied down by hand. Each book is a personal treasure of the owner. The Book Of Bokanon is against the law for it contains the most basic truths of life. In summary, dont take anything seriously, because at its most basic level the reason behind a social convention is ridiculous.

But its a joke. One huge Cosmic Joke. Bokanon, the God of San Lorenzo is off the Hook. Always.

Only Man ever ends up on the HOOK. No God or Devil is necessary to hang him there. Left to our own devises, were perfectly capable of hanging ourselves.

On San Lorenzo, or anywhere else, theres no need for a sermon of the likes of @Sinners in the Hands of an Angry [email protected] Neither, would it be necessary for Uncle Screwtape to instruct Nephew Wormwood on the finer arts of temptation in obtaining the souls of men. Jonathan Edwards and C.S. Lewis may be on a library shelf, but they arent required reading.

Those guys, the scientists? Arent they the whiz kids we really turn to when were looking for a better life? Maybe they are the new Man made Gods. Vonnegut doesnt condemn science, or religion, or government, although his depiction of those entities are wickedly presented in satirical fashion. This is a very cautionary tale that reminds humanity to be careful of what it wishes for--thats the message, at least for me.

I first read @Cats [email protected] as a very young man. I found everything in it profoundly hilarious. In @Cats [email protected] I found a way to reinforce my rebellious beliefs against practically everything, remarkably reinforced by a writer who was almost as smart as I was. As Mark Twain said about his father, when Twain was 15, he thought his father was the dumbest man hed ever known. When Twain was 20, he was amazed at how much the old man had learned.

@
My first copy of @Cats [email protected]

Yesterday, a friend told me @Cats [email protected] has become her daughters favorite book. She just celebrated her Sweet 16. Id love to be around to get her take on it when shes 59 going on 60, as I am.

I probably wont be around to find that out. So it goes.

@


Update, June 13, 2013: Cats Cradle has been chosen as a group read by goodreads group @Literary [email protected] for its July read.


مشاهده لینک اصلی
Nothing in this review is true.

As much as I enjoy reading Vonnegut, one of the nagging little doubts I always have is that Im missing something. That theres a hidden message in there that Im not picking up on. Or, on the other hand, that I am picking up messages that just arent there.

Which is, perhaps, the point of the whole book.

The world is full of lies. Good lies, bad lies and indifferent lies, but lies nonetheless, and we pick and choose the lies that make our lives happiest. The lie that we know more than other people, or that we are chosen by one deity or another. Theyre all lies, and the acknowledgment of that is.... depressing.

So, rather than just write about that, Vonnegut wrapped it in a @[email protected] known as Bokononism - the indigenous and completely artificial @[email protected] of the island of San Lorenzo. And in order to tell us about Bokononism, we need a narrator - and a disaster. Which brings us to Ice-Nine.

A variant of water ice which is the final creation of the father of the atom bomb - Dr. Felix Hoenikker - Ice-Nine is solid at temperatures up to 45.8°C (114.4°F). A single crystal of Ice-Nine can convert any liquid water it touches, which will in turn convert any other water in contact with that. If Ice-Nine were to come into contact with a natural body of water, the chain reaction would lead to the total freezing of the planet Earth.

The narrators journey to the end of the world is an interesting one, started by a search for the truth and ended with the death of humanity. As, perhaps, all searches for truth must.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
I stopped at page 175 and I have NEVER done that. I never give up on books I start. This book made me re-think that practice. Normally, even if I do not like a book, I can find something about it to keep me going but with Cats Cradle I just had to quit. I need to feel something - curiousity, irritation, sadness, happiness, love, desire, anger, escapism, like I am learning something new, that I need the lesson this book is offering... whatever. I need to connect to the book, the story, the characters in some way. With this book I felt nothing, nada, eh. It was easy reading for sure but it seemed almost like it was a joke. It reminded me of my junior high schools days when the teacher asked us to write stories and read them to the class. You wrote hollow silly things that you thought sounded clever and exciting and then years later when you come across the story in a box of keepsakes you laugh at how stilted and basic it was. I know, Vonnegut is suppose to be speaking to the issues of religion, science, humanity with irony and humour - lots of people love this book. I did not care about any of it, not even the Ice Nine that probably destroyed the world (I dont know because I didnt finish the book) I decided that to continue would be a waste of life essence. The good thing I can say about this experience is that it made me realize that I dont have to finish a book.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
@...for the quotation captured in a couplet the cruel paradox of Bakononist thought, the heartbreaking necessity about lying about reality, and the heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it.

Midget, midget, midget, how he struts and winks,
For he knows a mans as big as what he hopes and thinks!
@

-- Kurt Vonnegut, Cats Cradle

@description@

I first read this in 9th grade. The grade my two kids are right now. Life has a way of making you feel both old and insignificant. When I first read this book I was focused on the technology of Ice-9 and the absurdity of weapons of mass destruction. This time, as I read it in a quickly cooling bath.* Seriously, all men over 40 should read this book naked in a bath that is quickly losing its heat, while wrinkles develop on their hands, feet, etc. There is nothing emasculates a man faster than a cold bath, nakedness, age, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Anyway, 28 years after first reading it and I still love this book. It was my first Vonnegut. One of my first exposures to the world of literature as absurdism, dark satire, and the wicked wink of postmodernism. I was hooked.

* with all this damn technology, one would think it would be easy to develop a better system for insulating baths. During the last 60 years, our society has gone from porcelain to plastic. So, now I cant even scratch OR freeze my ass in my tub and remain dignified.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
This was a difficult re-read. In the flush of youth, when I first read it (at my cynical, pessimistic - and arrogant - peak), every line spoke to me. Now, I am amazed at how flimsy the story, and how brittle and bleak - but oh-so-deeply entrenched - is the cynicism. I dont remember it that way. Today, it made me deeply, almost unbearably sad to think that the world - that I - felt so aligned with the dominant worldview of this novel. It still speaks to me, but it says different things.

I havent re-read Slaughterhouse Five, so cant know right now if Id have the same response to it, but I can say that in Cats Cradle there is no relief from the pessimism with any of Vonneguts trademark compassion, humanism or humour, as there is in, for example, Mother Night or Jailbird, both of which remain enduring favourites of mine upon many re-reads.

All of Vonneguts novels are, by definition, permeated with a deep pessimism - but most of them offer up at least some slim hope, usually in the form of a single human beings ability to connect with another, or even just need that connection (which at least points to his or her humanity). There is the opportunity for atonement for wrongs done which provides some comfort, if not absolution. There is a sense of humanitys deep flaws, but also its resilience and capacity to love.

There is none of that here.

Here, conversations and human relationships are superficial, cliché-ridden, vapid - even worse, unnecessary. Traditional connections between people are lampooned as granfaloons - a gentle and whimsical irony, even the word itself, that betrays a deeper violation of trust and breakdown of social structure.

Science and scientists create world-destroying technologies simply because they can, and because they are so far removed from any connection to humanity, love, a moral or ethical system, that they have no compunction or qualms in doing so.

The drive for conventional sex - as opposed to the Bokononist practice of boku-maru - has evaporated as its only value is not to express love or build intimacy, but for procreation - which dampens desire faster than a cold shower in a post-Ice Nine world. Politics have failed, and are so irrelevant and corrupt that a random stranger who shows up on a remote island is named president because no one else wants the job.

The comfort of religion is non-existent: Bokononism, the closest thing to a spiritual belief system, undermines the need for belief and a sense of purpose, and its own believers, in a layered irony so serpentine it almost sucks itself into an intellectual black hole. Everyone believes in it in secret, which is not secret, although it is punishable by death. Everyone turns to it for comfort in times of both celebration and trauma, and it invariably mocks them with its own meaninglessness.

Published in 1963, this novel is of a time and place (as was I when I first read it) that no longer exists in exactly this form, although it is hauntingly, chillingly contemporary and because written as an allegory, easily transposed. Although this particular Cats Cradle, a metaphor for seeking pattern and meaning with its added layer of infinite futility, is an allegory for the scientists who first split the atom and the weaponry of mass destruction to which that accomplishment led, it is an end-times scenario that offers maximum flexibility across time and remains disturbingly apt.

Vonneguts anger at that particular act, those men, that world is palpable - it radiates from the page.

Ive written before on goodreads that the difference between today and 1963 is that the dangers we now face - although surely as potentially planet-destroying - are still far enough away to afford us the false comfort of deniability. Not so in 1963. Vonnegut himself had seen the atom bomb deployed. He knew how the world could end, and it was imminent. In Cats Cradle, he is at his most nihilistic - he believes, as the San Lorenzans did after Ice Nine was let loose, that suicide is absolutely the only sane answer in a doomed world.

In short, though its prose barely holds together as a story, and though its humour is so dark as to be invisible (at least to this reader, on this read), this novels satire is so biting, its cynicism so pervasive, its sense of futility and purposelessness so extreme, that the thing almost felt hot to the touch. As hard as it was to read, its equally hard not to acknowledge it as a masterpiece.


مشاهده لینک اصلی
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