In his groundbreaking 1969 novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., created the most famous fictional optometrist: Billy Pilgrim, who reads from a copy of Review of Optometry.

In the book, Dr. Pilgrim came unstuck in time and traveled to far-off planets. He also survived the World War II fire-bombing of the German city of Dresden by hiding out in an underground meat locker, just as Mr. Vonnegut himself did.

Mr. Vonnegut, who died in early April, gave voice to humanity in a senseless world, symbolized in the humdrum but sensitive soul of Billy Pilgrim. So it goes.

Vol. No: 144:05Issue: 5/15/2007