Posts Tagged: Kurt Vonnegut

Unstuck in Time

By

Despite its uncanny salience in the context of this most recent wave of social injustice and protest, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout was written well before the #BlackLivesMatter movement began. Far from a coincidence, the book’s resonance is a product of the same paradox of time it describes, in which dated social conditions cannot possibly continue to exist, yet do:

All of the characters, regardless of how completely absurd they seem, are reacting to living in a time in which Beatty also resides; one in which he is daring to call something “‘Racism’ in a post-racial world.”

...more

The Popular Vote

By

The Library of Congress recently polled American citizens to find out what books had the most profound effect on them. Among the 17,000-plus survey respondents, popular answers were books like Frank Herbert’s Dune, Stephen King’s The Stand, and The Cat in the Hat by Dr.

...more

Vonnegut’s Secret Weapon

By

Without his wife Jane’s faith and encouragement in his writing, it’s highly likely we wouldn’t know Kurt Vonnegut’s name from Adam. The New Yorker explores Jane’s influence on her husband throughout his career as an author.

Kurt was more pragmatic, casting about for career ideas—teaching, reporting, opening a library with a bar.

...more

Vonnegut in the House of Magic

By

Asked years later why he had chosen to write science fiction in his early days, Kurt replied “There was no avoiding it, since the General Electric Company WAS science fiction.”

Over at Work in Progress, Ginger Strand shows us how to invent Kurt Vonnegut: add equal parts previous failures in the field, a brother who was a scientist, and the ethical dilemmas posed by science’s advance, with a dash of crazy militants.

...more

Reading Mixtape feature

Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #4: Water, Water, Everywhere

By

It’s hard to escape news about water these days. Drought on the West Coast, hurricane season raging on the East Coast, and NASA found water on Mars. No matter where you are, these books will drench you.

...more

Flammeninferno in der Dresdener Innenstadt

The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Song in the Subjunctive

By

Perhaps the city looked more poignantly lovely because I was conscious of its tragic history. ...more

Robert Repino

The Rumpus Interview with Robert Repino

By

Robert Repino talks about his debut novel, Mort(e), the publishing industry, science fiction and literary fiction, writing about religion, and how to write about complex chemical ant languages. ...more

The Disappointing Grandfather

By

After hailing Kurt Vonnegut as the “grandfather” on her “literary family tree,” Kathleen Founds describes the experience of reading his short story, “Welcome to the Monkey House,” at BuzzFeed Books. The experience, she writes, was “akin to opening a box in my literary grandfather’s attic and finding something utterly derailing”:

If Vonnegut could see through myths about war, why couldn’t he transcend myths about sexual violence?

...more

No Time To Be Neurotic

By

The Believer has just published what is likely writer Peter Matthiessen’s last interview, conducted only a month before his death. Included: Jaws, the sticker that Kurt Vonnegut left on Matthiessen’s car, and why Matthiessen didn’t like to write about New York:

I also very rarely write about cities or urban people—especially urban people of our own region.

...more

Kurt Vonnegut’s Crazy Amazing TV Show

By

A seemingly unemployed wannabe poet, Stony secures the opportunity by winning the “Blast-Off Space Food” jingle contest and, despite confused protest from his mother,  is whisked away to undergo an intensive, three-month astronautic crash course.

Would you believe us if we told you the above quote describes the premise of a ’60s TV show that stitched together aspects of Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s CradleSirens of Titan, and “Harrison Bergeron”?

...more

Kurt Vonnegut Loved Adobe Books, And You Should Too

By

Here’s a lovely addition to the ongoing up-again-down-again saga of Adobe Books: Herbert Gold describes Kurt Vonnegut’s last trip to San Francisco, during which the two visited the “eternal no-rent bookshop.”

Vonnegut ended up signing a $1.95 used copy of Slaughterhouse Five, which the store’s owners were able to sell “to a collector for enough to cover the threat of eviction for a month or two.”

The trip also included burritos, which is the obvious food choice in the Mission, of course, but the image of Kurt Vonnegut snarfing a burrito under that “bristle of mustache” is somehow surprising and delightful.

...more

Veterans Weekend Rumpus Roundup

By

If you spent the weekend honoring the veterans in your life or otherwise celebrating Veterans Day, you may have missed these excellent Rumpus pieces. Don’t worry, it’s not too late to read them!

On what would have been his 90th birthday, we spoke with Kurt Vonnegut’s daughter Nanette about her father’s writing, family life, and PTSD.

...more