‘Express to paradise’, the schizophrenic memories of the son of the mythical Kurt Vonnegut

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In the wake of works like “Punch with lysergic acid” by Tom Wolfe or “Jonqui” by William Burroughs, the only book by the author’s son of “Slaughterhouse Five” is being reissued

Mark had no intention of following in the footsteps of his father, Kurt Vonnegut, author of critically acclaimed works like “Slaughterhouse Five” or “The April Fools’ Crusade.” But the pacifist and countercultural influence with a dose of hyperbolic satire remained engraved in his style when, years after losing his mind to hallucinogens and founding a hippie commune in a wild part of Canada, he decided to write a book, the only, about those experiences.

‘Express to paradise. Memory of Madness’ – published in 1975 and now being rescued by Libros del Kultrum – begins as a hippie adventure of a rich young man with a famous father, influenced by Thoreau from ‘Walden’ (‘It was a phenomenal life. I didn’t mind the discomfort,” he writes), but it’s really about the author’s confrontation with the schizophrenia from which he suffered. “One of the hardest parts of coping with schizophrenia is thinking that such an abomination could exist ”, writes Mark Vonnegut (USA, 1947), who will overcome his mental state and eventually become a pediatrician.

But before wisdom is madness. “The world had become very strange. Things buzzed and whirled around me at high speed and in complete bewilderment. Then, suddenly, everything stopped (…) Everything drowned in the frantic flapping of wings around my head»

At the age of 22, Mark ended up in Hollywood Hospital, specializing in LSD addicts. There was Kurt, by his side, trying to save perhaps his most important work. For a reissue two decades ago, the father recalled that time and attributed Mark’s recovery to “luck.”

It’s an interesting volume that follows a trail of works like Tom Wolfe’s ‘Punch with lysergic acid’; ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, by Ken Kesey, or ‘Junkie’, by William Burroughs. Certainly with a happy ending.

Source: La Verdad

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