Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

“Young Castle called me "Scoop." "Good Morning, Scoop. What's new in the word game?"

"I might ask the same of you," I replied.

"I'm thinking of calling a general strike of all writers until mankind finally comes to its senses. Would you support it?"

"Do writers have a right to strike? That would be like the police or the firemen walking out."

"Or the college professors."

"Or the college professors," I agreed. I shook my head. "No, I don't think my conscience would let me support a strike like that. When a man becomes a writer, I think he takes a sacred obligation to produce beauty and enlightenment and comfort at top speed."

"I just can't help thinking what a real shake up it would give people if, all of a sudden, there were no new books, new plays, new histories, new poems..."

"And how proud would you be when people started dying like flies?" I demanded.

"They'd die more like mad dogs, I think--snarling & snapping at each other & biting their own tails."

I turned to Castle the elder. "Sir, how does a man die when he's deprived of the consolation of literature?"

"In one of two ways," he said, "petrescence of the heart or atrophy of the nervous system."

"Neither one very pleasant, I expect," I suggested.

"No," said Castle the elder. "For the love of God, both of you, please keep writing!”


Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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Cat's Cradle Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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