"If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human stupidity," Vonnegut declared in his novel Cat's Cradle
. Three years after the satirist's death, Rough and Tumble does that very thing, with its first commissioned work.
Science pervades his work, whether it's evolution in Galapagos or the fictional material Ice-9 in Cat's Cradle
. But it's the skepticism of superstition that comes with that foundation in science that provides the backbone of the freethought movement, and Vonnegut too embraced this family tradition.
Strings, however, always have explained or enriched our lives, from Theseus's escape route from the Labyrinth, to kittens playing with balls of yarn, to the single hair that held the sword above Damocles, to the basic awfulness of string cheese, to the Old Norse tradition that one's life is a thread woven into a tapestry of fate, to the beautiful sounds of the finely tuned string of a violin, to the children's game of cat's cradle
, to the concept of stringing someone along.
of Northern Iowa) examines the career of the late American writer Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), author of such works as Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle
, and Breakfast of Champions.
Dancers manipulate long lengths of two-inch wide elastics tied at varying heights offstage, running on and off in a seeming collision course and delivering visual imagery and kinetic excitement in an ever-changing cat's cradle
of inventive movement.
The moral of The Feline Plague is announced in the first chapter: "It is impossible to avoid an accident, but it never comes in the way you have envisaged." The accident is the introduction of infected cats into Slovenia, which kills not only all the cats but most other animals, including humans, and the disappearance of Slovenia, "so that our language was never spoken again and we were never again spoken about"--not quite as disastrous as Ice-9 in Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle
, as befits Slovenian modesty.
The geometry of each joint is different, dictated by the changing form, and the entire structure is exposed internally, like a cat's cradle
* Julia Golding, Cat's Cradle
, due out in February, book 6 in the Cat Royal sequence.
Highlights on offer include Cat's Cradle
by Miracle Theatre Company, based on Kurt Vonnegut's sci-fi novel, tonight at Atherstone Memorial Hall (01827 722198) or tomorrow at Weston under Wetherley Village Hall (01926 632368).
Banks have been hoarding what dollars they have this week - virtually refusing to lend greenbacks to anybody - for fear of what could emerge as Lehman Brothers' colossal cat's cradle
of trading positions and derivatives is unravelled.
If that production had too little Vonnegut, however, the adaptation of "Cat's Cradle
" from Untitled Theater Company #61 has far too much.
His notion that humans tend to abuse their technological prowess partly condensed into a hatred of weaponry, which became thematic in his forceful critique of scientific obtuseness, Cat's Cradle
A generation of Americans in the 1960s and '70s devoured his 19 novels, and some of them - "Slaughterhouse Five," "Cat's Cradle
" - promise to endure.
His later novels included Cat's Cradle
, Breakfast Of Champions and Mother Night.
Vonnegut wrote at least 19 novels, including Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat's Cradle
, as well as short stories, plays and essays.