Posts Tagged: Kurt Vonnegut

Album of the Week: Forced Witness by Alex Cameron

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"Where does one draw the line when you as a person believe in progress, but as a writer feel like you need to focus on people who would challenge that, who would ask us to regress?" ...more

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #99: Bruce Snow

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The summer after Bruce Snow graduated from the University of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina arrived in his hometown. ...more

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #86: Max Allan Collins

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In April, the Mystery Writers of America named Max Allan Collins a Grand Master, the organization’s peer-voted lifetime achievement award. Collins has had a prolific and often eclectic career. The Iowa Writers Workshop graduate has written more than one hundred books, has had a long career as a comics writer including, most famously, the Road to Perdition saga, has been a screenwriter and director of fiction and documentary films, written audio dramas and nonfiction books.

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The Rumpus Book Club Chat with Gabrielle Bell

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Gabrielle Bell discusses her forthcoming graphic memoir, Everything Is Flammable, what it was like to mine her own life for subject matter, and how anxiety affects her work. ...more

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #84: Susan DeFreitas

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Picture this: a curbside juggler with a rose between his teeth. That’s the opening image of Susan DeFreitas’s powerful debut novel, Hot Season. Vivid (and sometimes strange) images strike again and again, conjuring ponderosa pines, cafés, old houses, and new characters.

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Down the Rabbit Hole of Experimental Fiction: Michael J. Seidlinger on Becoming a Reader

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Michael J. Seidlinger discusses returning to House of Leaves for Ig Publishing’s "Bookmarked" series. ...more

A Recommended Reading List for Trump’s America

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We asked nineteen authors what books they'd suggest as recommended reading in light of America's new political reality. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Terry McDonell

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Terry McDonell talks about his new memoir The Accidental Life and his career in the magazine business, which spans the beginning of New Journalism through the digital revolution. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with D. Foy

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D. Foy discusses his latest novel, Patricide, the evolution of “gutter opera,” his writing process, free will, and memes. ...more

Term Paper of Champions

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At Open Culture, Ayun Halliday introduces Kurt Vonnegut’s final assignment for his Iowa Writer’s Workshop class. Instead of a conventional essay, Vonnegut asks his students to role-play as short story publishers:

Proceed next to the hallucination that you are a minor but useful editor on a good literary magazine not connected with a university.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #55: Donald Ray Pollock

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Donald Ray Pollock has been steadily serving up plates of mild horror since his first book of short stories, Knockemstiff, appeared in 2008. Pollock followed the explosion of Knockemstiff with The Devil All the Time, in 2011, his first novel, which also bordered on the genre of mystery, again with generous servings of darkness.

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Unstuck in Time

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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.”

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The Popular Vote

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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.

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Vonnegut’s Secret Weapon

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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.

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Vonnegut in the House of Magic

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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.

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

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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.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Song in the Subjunctive

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

The Rumpus Interview with Robert Repino

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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

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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?

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No Time To Be Neurotic

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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.

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Kurt Vonnegut’s Crazy Amazing TV Show

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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”?

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