The Sirens of Titan

Take Care of the People, and God Almighty Will Take Care of Himself

I first felt compelled to read The Sirens of Titan because of its once-frequent appearances on my friend Maria’s tumblr, and in any case, I devour any Vonnegut I can get my hands on. It was a breeze read, predictably, but engaging and incredibly enjoyable. It was somewhat ironic because at the time I was reading it, my friend was sitting next to me and becoming totally enthralled with the Gospel of Mary and Gospel of Thomas, gnostic texts that have some pretty intense elements of spirituality that are in explosive contrast with the cynicism I was drinking up with almost obscene pleasure. The Sirens of Titan, as it stands, is ripe with Biblical references, explicit and otherwise (keep an eye out for Jonah, the Red Sea, Israel and Babel).  As my friend drooled over the ‘beauty of the teachings’ and the ‘messages of Christ’ in the gnostic gospels, I grew almost irritated, feeling vindicated in my atheism and empowered by my own modern, nihilistic gospel.

It’s a beautiful nihilism, though, and forgive my blockheadedness in saying it’s a Spinozistic nihilism:

“The sermon of the panorama was that even a man without a friend in the Universe could still find his home planet mysteriously, heartbreakingly beautiful.”

Vonnegut shows his genius in this one, and I would recommend it to everyone. I would read it again tomorrow if I had the time. I won’t write more, for fear of spoiling it, but I’ll leave with one of dozens of passages that scream off the page:

“‘The worst thing that could possibly happen to anybody,’ she said, ‘would be to not be used for anything by anybody.'”


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