Mikey Gee's Reviews > Bluebeard

Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut
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's review
Jul 25, 2012

really liked it

Don't ask me why this was the first KV book I read but it is still my favorite and really my only beloved KV book...

As always KV is quick, fun and a touch preachy. Of course we will see bits of absurdity and stuff that is too strange to be fiction (but is actually fiction). KV will also continue with his theme that war is "wrong, so very, very wrong" which is unavoidable. Chances are if you are a KV enthusiast you find this work likable but not brilliant, though I think it is the most accessible to those who might think of KV as just another author.

well most of his fans have stopped reading now so I can go on about what the book means.

First to understand the mystery of the barn we need to think about the myth/parable of Bluebeard which... spoiler alert, is not prominently featured in the book. Is it a spoiler to say what isn't in the book? Bluebeard was a guy with a bunch of exwives and to his new brides he always said "you may go into every room except one." which is of course the one room she would always end up going into. The scene would always be she sneaks the key to the room while he is away, in the middle of a dark stormy night and opens the door to find... the body of all of Bluebeard's exwives! Lightening flashes revealing the silhouette of Bluebeard in the background silently approaching... like I said not in the story. But we do need to ask what does the myth mean.

The one room that none shall enter does not represent Bluebeard's darkest secret but rather his true identity... though having in Bluebeard's case it would also be his deepest darkest secret. But in the case of Bluebeard and the protagonist the contents of the forbidden room require a bit of interpretation. If the contents of the room represent Bluebeard's identity we need to ask what can we say about the identity of a person who has killed so many wives? The room points to an act and the act points to identity.

So the basic gist of the story is sort of a autobiography of this artist guy who believes that his life and his art was a sham. We learn how he got where he is, his time of brilliance, and shame and his eventual old age as a curmudgeon. People show up in his life, despite his best effort, and poke around all with this sort of mystery: what does he have locked in his barn. The most I am going to say us that it is his identity locked in that barn... though like with Bluebeard it will be required that you see the contents of the barn as an act which points to identity.


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Quotes Mikey Liked

Kurt Vonnegut
“Rabo Karabekian: I'm in the middle of a sentence.
Circe Berman: Who isn't?.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard

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