There Are No Telegrams On Tralfamadore
Slaughterhouse 5 Anniversary Exhibition, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, 2019
There are no telegrams on Tralfamadore. But you’re right: each group of symbols is a brief, urgent message describing a situation, a scene. We Tralfamadorians read them all at once, not one after the other. There isn’t any particular relationship between all of the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.” Kurt Vonnegut
The illustrations are placed in no particular order and are presented all at once (simulating the POV of a Tralfamadorian) in an attempt to somehow convey the beauty and depths of Slaughterhouse 5. No beginning, no middle, no end. All messages, all at once.
The messages themselves are on old, unused telegram paper. Each drawing is minimal yet bold, imperfect yet pure. They are meant to compliment Vonnegut’s words with simple lines and negative space; a way for the viewer/reader to experience Vonnegut’s “many marvelous moments seen all at one time.