I love turning teenagers on to the work of author Kurt Vonnegut. I want their minds to be blown the way mine was at 15, when I picked up Slapstickhis 8th novel, for reasons I no longer remember.
Share via Email Humanist and sceptic Kurt Vonnegut in Its author was Kurt Vonnegutwho has died aged 84, following brain injuries incurred several weeks ago in a fall.
Once described by Gore Vidal as the worst writer in America, he was nonetheless at one point said to be the novelist most widely taught in American universities. He made the crossover from marginal science fiction writer into mainstream bestseller and campus hero, finally becoming one of America's best loved national uncles.
Kurt Vonnegut Junior was born in Indianapolis into a prosperous German-American family whose fortunes plummeted while he was young. His father was an architect, and his mother came from a brewing family who used a special ingredient - coffee - to improve the flavour of their prizewinning beer.
Already suffering from the anti-German effects of the first world war, the brewery business was destroyed by prohibition, and Vonnegut's father was unemployed through most of the s after the building industry slumped with the depression. While Vonnegut's father developed an attitude of fatalistic weltschmerz, his mother struggled against their changing circumstances.
She tried to make money by writing short stories, and was deeply saddened by her failure. Soon afterwards, Vonnegut volunteered for the US army and was sent to the Carnegie Institute of Technology now the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and the University of Tennessee to study mechanical engineering.
Arriving home on leave for Mother's Day in Mayhe found that his mother had taken a fatal overdose the night before. The army posted Vonnegut to Europe with the th Infantry Division, where he served as an infantry scout in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes.
Taken prisoner, he was sent to Dresden, where he laboured in a factory that produced vitamin syrup for pregnant women. He was there on Februarywhen British and American bombers subjected the city to the massive aerial bombardment that created the "Dresden fire storm".
He emerged to discover the city razed, and was put to work clearing bodies. Almost 25 years and seven novels later, Vonnegut turned his war experiences into the basis of his most celebrated book.
It was published at a time when the war in Vietnam, and the struggle for civil rights - and, in Europe, the events in Paris in May and the Eastern Bloc invasion of Czechoslovakia - had generated a wave of radicalism across the US, and the western world. The fame of Slaughterhouse-Five has made Dresden seem like the central experience of Vonnegut's life, but Vonnegut played it down, saying that he was more shocked by Hiroshima.
He joked about it when he was interviewed by Martin Amis: I got several dollars for each person killed. It was a marriage which produced three children and lasted until their amicable divorce in Vonnegut found his wife's religion increasingly hard to live with, and remarried the photographer Jill Krementz.
His two daughters became born-again Christians, and his son, Mark, developed schizophrenia he went on to write Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity about his experience.
In Chicago, Vonnegut worked as a crime reporter for the Chicago City News Bureau and enrolled for an anthropology course at the University of Chicago, which in failed his MA thesis on Fluctuations Between Good and Evil in Simple Tales; in the anthropology department accepted his novel Cat's Cradle in lieu of a thesis, and finally awarded him his degree.
His stint in PR was to inspire a number of stories and influenced his first novel, Player Pianowhich satirises modern automation and corporate values.
He quit in to become a full-time hack writer of science fiction, spending over a decade in pulp obscurity.
In time-honoured American fashion, he had to supplement his income with a variety of jobs, including copywriting and car selling; at one time he ran a Saab dealership. One of his fictional alter egos, Philboyd Studge, is a Pontiac dealer who goes berserk after reading a story by Kilgore Trout, another Vonnegut alter ego.
The need to earn money became still more pressing inwhen Vonnegut and his wife took on the three orphaned children of his sister and brother-in-law, who died within 24 hours of each other his sister died of cancer and her husband, a failed toy inventor, was drowned when his train plunged off a bridge.
Vonnegut was never happy with the label of 'science-fiction writer', which he described as being put into a drawer that "serious" critics use as a urinal. Very few of his novels, in fact, could be described as straight science fiction, although his fiction always had a speculative element.who am i this time?
(& other conundrums of love) by aaron posner adapted from stories by kurt vonnegut dramatists play service inc. The story focuses on a community theatre production of A Streetcar Named Desire.
The director demands that Harry Nash play Stanley Kowalski. Harry has amazing versatility and is . Of their collaboration, Kurt Vonnegut says: “Barab’s music is full of magic.
Look at the Birdie: Short Fiction by Kurt Vonnegut “Relentlessly fun to read.”—Dave Eggers • A collection of fourteen previously unpublished short stories from one of the most original writers in all of American fiction. Who Am I This Time? () is a film adaptation of the short story " Who Am I This Time? " by Kurt Vonnegut, directed by Jonathan Demme, and starring Christopher Walken and Susan Sarandon. Kurt Vonnegut’s Short Stories Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for Kurt Vonnegut’s Short Stories is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
He proved to an atheist that God exists. although he might also use it in other stories. He’s from the right time period.
Link. Lana March 18, , pm. Trying to find the name of Vonnegut Novel/short story: where if you are prettier than other people. Harrison Bergeron Summary "Harrison Bergeron" was first published in the October, , issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
It was Vonnegut's third publication in a science fiction magazine following the drying up of the once-lucrative weekly family magazine market where he had published more than twenty stories between and Response Paper on “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut The short tale of Harrison Bergeron is something that isn’t very new to me.
Way back in high school, we were tasked to read this in one of our Literary Circles sessions. Kurt Vonnegut By WNET-TV/ PBS (eBay front back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
When Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (–) was 22, he’d no idea what to .