Love Letters Divorce Papers Novel
Love Letters Divorce Papers Novel – “Tell me,” Kurt Vonnegut asks Jane Marie Cox, his future wife, “would you enjoy living with me, sleeping with me, leading a carnival life?”
He writes from Camp Atterbury in 1944, where he is a 22-year-old intelligence trainee in the 106th Infantry Division. “My new job is to cover my face and hands in soot and sneak into enemy lines to see what the hell they’ve got,” he explains.
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It’s classic Vonnegut, one of many nuggets of dark humor in “Love, Kurt,” a collection of letters discovered by Edith, the couple’s oldest daughter, in the attic of the family’s Cape Cod home. It’s an overview of a wild mind that would go on to spawn 14 novels, including the celebrated satire “Slaughterhouse-Five.” It also foreshadows the horrors that await young Kurt in Europe: he is captured during the Battle of the Bulge, listed as MIA for six months and sent to a Nazi concentration camp in Dresden, where he survives the bombing.
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These letters are rich fodder, both as first-hand accounts of World War II and a glimpse into the mind of a writer finding his voice. First and foremost, these are love letters, many of them so ravishing that if these pages could be distilled into liquid form, they could be prescribed as an elixir for malaise.
They’re also bittersweet: Kurt and Jane’s union lasted about 25 years, until sometime after the smash hit of his sixth novel, Kurt left. “How could such a bright, unique and determined love disappear?” Edith asks in the introduction. As we read these letters, which cover the couple’s early courtship, from 1941 to 1945, we can look for clues as to what went wrong – although the details are rather one-sided. Of the 226 letters collected here, only two are from Jane: one plea she sends to the agent on Kurt’s behalf, and one lipstick letter praising his work.
Jane and Kurt had known each other for years before the correspondence began. They went to school together from kindergarten through third grade in Indianapolis, and reconnected at the age of 19 at a country club. Kurt began writing to Jane while he was a (middling) student at Cornell and she was studying literature (more successfully) at Swarthmore. Some typed, some handwritten, these letters are adorned with whimsical sketches and fun ephemera, such as a coupon that entitles Jane to 1,728 “loving kisses, one on every square inch of her beautiful body.” He’s drawing a floor plan for a one-room, bookcase-lined “rabbit hut” they might one day occupy. Kurt woos the sometimes reluctant Jane, begging her to join him on the grand Vonnegutesque adventure he envisions: “Sideshow after sideshow—half-truths, vividly rendered,—the net effects of our rococo environment and education; with occasional Ferris Wheels and Lindy Loops.”
They will have seven children and a house full of dogs, he predicts. Maybe they live in Mexico for a while and both write for the New Yorker. Or live in Europe for a while and work as a news correspondent.
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It’s Not All Carnival: The letters involve a lot of number crunching as Kurt calculates the cost of living. He jokes that he just opened a Fletcher Trust checking account, “with all the money I made working for Adolf Hitler,” to the tune of $458.98.
As with most stories of love and ambition, it’s complicated. There are references to misunderstandings, and there’s something disturbing about the way Kurt tracks Jane’s menstrual cycles. Perhaps we shouldn’t judge his smiling promise to keep her “perpetually pregnant,” but it is tempting. Oddly, they end up with those seven kids; they had three, and they took in their four nephews when Kurt’s sister and her husband died.
In the midst of all this oozing from Kurt, one question looms: Where’s Jane? Jane graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore and was a fierce writer. Kurt often speaks as if he and Jane are a team, referring to “our ambition to write great books.” He even suggests that she is more talented: “I wish I could write as well as you. But he’s the one who starts saying the words, while she acts as editor, secretary and cheerleader.
“Good!!!!!!!” she tells him a story. “Darling, I am firmly convinced that you are the best writer on the face of the earth today. He seems to need her support: “You scare me when you say I would have been Shakespeare if I had lived then. . . . Angel, will you hold on to me if it goes backwards and down?”
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Is Jane shaping Kurt? A New Yorker article published five years ago, when the first small batch of these letters was made public, appeared under the headline “How Jane Vonnegut Made Kurt Vonnegut a Writer.” Jane was clearly influential. She gave Kurt encouragement and confidence at a tender age, and themes from these letters later found their way into his work. It is likely that Jane helped create the conditions in a busy household that allowed him to write.
Would the manic creativity displayed in these letters have made it into print if his love life had taken a different course? We are speculators here, looking into other people’s marriages. Even as a literary biography, voyeurism is still voyeurism.
“What I tell you in my letters is of no particular concern to anyone,” writes Kurt from abroad. He refers to the censors and explains that he is withholding certain “poetic references” and “biting commentary.” It is impossible to know the exact intention of these words, but it begs the question whether it is his wish that these letters remain private. But with the rich history they contain, the publication of these letters is probably part of the price of literary significance. In Curt’s 2007 New York Times obituary, Jane’s name was mentioned as a high school sweetheart whom he married and divorced. These letters give Jane, who died in 1986, standing — if only indirectly.
“Love, Kurt” is the story of two people deeply in love living through what Kurt speculates are “the scariest times in history.” It may be an exercise in delusion, but it’s still heartening to savor these letters, to take this wild love for what it was in the frozen frame moment.
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We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide us with the means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and related sites. So you’ve just received papers for an Illinois divorce or child custody proceeding. Now what? Whether or not you suspected this legal action might happen, once you’ve been served, there’s no time to waste in taking the necessary steps to protect yourself.
First of all, don’t ignore the fact that you are being served. Be warned! If you have been served with a petition for divorce or a petition for division of parental responsibilities, you only have so much time to notify the court that you intend to be involved in the legal process. The way you do this is by filing your “appearance” in the case, which means filing and responding to a petition for dissolution (or a petition for division of parental responsibilities
It’s important to understand that after you receive notice of the legal action, the requesting party can usually move forward without your involvement even if you fail to register in the case.
When family law cases are initially filed in Illinois, the filing party must notify the other party. This is called process service. This is done by serving the summons and a copy of the document filed on the other party. A summons is an official notice that legal proceedings have been initiated and that you are a named party.
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In most cases, the appropriate Illinois County Sheriff’s Department or private process server will serve the summons, along with the document that was filed. When serving family law or divorce papers, it is customary to attempt service at a party’s residence or workplace.
The summons states what type of procedure has been initiated. The Summons explains that you must file a written appearance and answer in the county clerk’s office within a certain number of days, often within thirty (30) days.
We’ve all seen it. In television shows and movies, the drama unfolds with the person who will be served with the lawsuit. The calls cleverly hide (or try to) avoid the process server. While it is not unusual for someone to not want to accept an invitation, it is important to understand that this will not make the Petition disappear.
In Illinois, “Service of Process” is considered complete when the process server serves the summons and served the legal document on the other party. As noted above, service is usually attempted at the party’s place of employment or last known address.
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And if you’re not at home, maybe not