Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Locations in God Bless you, Dr. Kevorkian

If you have yet to read Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless you, Dr. Kevorkian, then please bear in mind that this article contains information about the collection of short stories which may spoil/adjust your perception. This post offers a summary of God Bless you, Dr Kevorkian, as well as maps/Google Streetview images of some of the location's mentioned by Kurt Vonnegut in the short story collection.

God Bless you, Dr. Kevorkian Summary

God Bless you, Dr. Kevorkian was first published in 1999 and is a collection of short stories, published in order to help fund the public radio station, WNYC. The title discusses Vonnegut's trips to the "vacant lot between the far end of the tunnel and the Pearly Gates." Vonnegut meets both the recently deceased, such as Carla (sic) Faye Tucker, as well as Adolf Hitler and William Shakespeare.

Huntsville, Texas: "A Home Away From Home"

The core location in God Bless you, Dr. Kevorkian is the lethal injection facility in Huntsville Texas, where Dr. Jack Kevorkian ensures Vonnegut is "only three-quarters dead". Throughout the collection of stories, Vonnegut is whisked from a gurney in Huntsville to the "vacant lot" near the Pearly Gates and back again:

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WNYC: Enhancer of "Informed wit and Wisdom"

WNYC is an essential part of the short stories, as Kurt Vonnegut suggests in the Introduction of God Bless you, Dr. Kevorkian. As Vonnegut explains, "WNYC satisfies people's right to know", so it makes sense to include it in this post:

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The Lion's Head Bar, Greenwich Village

The Lion's Head Bar, which closed in 1996, which is best remembered as a watering hole for writers such as Norman Mailer and Frederick Exley. In God Bless you, Dr. Kevorkian, Vonnegut meets with John Wesley Joyce (Joice), who informs the author that he wasn't best pleased with his bar's clientèle, suggesting that he tried to "interfere" with their constant chatter by installing a jukebox. Interestingly, the Lion's Head was located just a few streets away from Howard W Campbell's New York apartment in Mother Night.

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"Entschuldigen Sie" at the UN Headquarters

In the last part of this whistle stop tour of some of the locations mentioned in the short stories, it'd be useful to mention Hitler's hopes for a "modest monument" to be erected on the UN Headquarters grounds. You can check out the headquarters for yourself, using the map below:

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Entire List of Locations Mentioned in God Bless you, Dr. Kevorkian

United States
Brooklyn, New York
Charlottesville, Virginia
Columbia University, New York
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Huntsville, Texas
Indianapolis, Indiana
Larchmont, New York
Lion's Head Bar, New York
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Queens, New York
San Francisco, California
Terre Haute, Indiana
Torrington, Connecticut
UN Headquarters, New York
WNYC, New York








[Image Found on Seven Stories Website]

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