Bluebeard: The Autobiography of Rabo Karabekian (1916-1988)

Bluebeard: The Autobiography of Rabo Karabekian (1916-1988)

Audiobook(MP3 on CD - Unabridged)

$9.99 View All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

Bluebeard, published in 1987, is Vonnegut's meditation on art, artists, surrealism, and disaster.

Meet Rabo Karabekian, a moderately successful surrealist painter who we meet late in life and see struggling (like all of Vonnegut's key characters) with the dregs of unresolved pain and the consequences of brutality. Loosely based on the legend of Bluebeard (best realized in Bela Bartok's one-act opera), the novel follows Karabekian through the last events in his life, which are heavy with women, painting, artistic ambition, artistic fraudulence, and as of yet unknown consequence. Vonnegut's intention here is not so much satirical (although the contemporary art scene would be easy enough to deconstruct), nor is it documentary (although Karabekian does carry elements of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko). Instead Vonnegut is using art for the same purpose he used science fiction clichés in Slaughterhouse-Five: as a filter through which he can illuminate the savagery, cruelty, and essentially comic misdirection of human existence.

Listeners will recognize familiar Vonnegut character types and archetypes as they drift in and out through the background; meanwhile Karabekian, betrayed and betrayer, sinks through a bottomless haze of recollection. Like most of Vonnegut's late works, this is both science fiction and cruel, contemporary realism at once, using science fiction as metaphor for human damage as well as failure to perceive.

Listeners will find that Vonnegut's protagonists can never really clarify for us whether they are ultimately unwitting victims or simple barbarians, leaving it up to the listener to determine in which genre this audiobook really fits, if any at all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501263361
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 08/04/2015
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Kurt Vonnegut is a unique voice in the American canon — a writer whose works are hard to categorize, often straddling the space between literature and science fiction, and filled with cutting satire and dark humor. Like Mark Twain before him, Vonnegut's reputation and impact on American writing and reading will continue to grow steadily and increase in relevance as new insights are made.

Vonnegut was born in 1922 in Indianapolis, and studied at the University of Chicago and the University of Tennessee. In the Second World War, he became a German prisoner of war and was present during the bombing of Dresden. This experience provided inspiration for his most successful and influential novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. Vonnegut — admired as much for his views and his “Vonnegutisms” as for his publications — wrote extensively in many forms, including novels, short stories, essays, plays, articles, speeches, and correspondence, some of which was published posthumously.

Date of Birth:

November 11, 1922

Date of Death:

April 11, 2007

Place of Birth:

Indianapolis, Indiana

Place of Death:

New York, New York

Education:

Cornell University, 1940-42; Carnegie-Mellon University, 1943; University of Chicago, 1945-47; M.A., 1971

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews