Vonnegut On Divorce

A Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut

Among other thoughts and retrospect, Vonnegut as only Vonnegut can addresses the issue of his patriotism, his inability to be lonely, fame and a few other things that make up the whole idear of being an American writer of cream of the crop greatness. He also tells a joke or two which is kind of cool because, even though I bought this book a few years ago, it took until his passing to get me to lift it off the shelf. For those interested in a acquiring some good quotes from KV this is definitely the book. I particularly like the chapter about marriage which I know he could have never called it what it really is about: divorce. Words of wisdom, indeed:

“Okay, now let’s have some fun. Let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about women. Freud said he didn’t know what women wanted. I know what women want: a whole lot of people to talk to. What do they want to talk about? They want to talk about everything. 

What do men want? They want a lot of pals, and they wish people wouldn’t get so mad at them. 

Why are so many people getting divorced today? It’s because most of us don’t have extended families anymore. It used to be that when a man a women got married, the bride got a lot more people to talk to about everything. The groom got a lot more pals to tell dumb jokes to. 

A few Americans, but very few, still have extended families. The Navahos. The Kennedys. 

But most of us, if we get married nowadays, are just one more person for the other person. The groom gets one more pal, but it’s a woman. The woman gets one more person to talk to about everything, but it’s a man. When a couple has an argument nowadays, they may think it’s about money or power or sex or how to raise the kids or whatever. What they’re really saying to each other, though without realizing it, is this: ‘You are not enough people!’ 

A husband, a wife and some kids is not a family. It’s a terribly vulnerable survival unit.”

Rant on.

-tgs-