Writing for The Millions, M.C. Mah turns over all the cards in the deck on structure in storytelling. He gathers words of wisdom—and many metaphors—from luminaries like John McPhee, Borges, Vonnegut, and George Saunders, and then links the contemporary “horoscopic style” of structuring to an “anxiety about a better way to tell a story…” possibly “synonymous with aiming for the cheap seats of genre.”...more
Posts Tagged: Vonnegut
Electric Literature posts a graduation speech from Vonnegut; he riffs on World War II, busboys, ambition, and suicide notes:
A young woman told me a couple of years ago that she had applied for admission here. The man who interviewed her asked her why she had found the place attractive.
(n.); an unwell feeling, particularly in the head; a moody depression; c. 1918, from Nevil Shute’s The Rose and the Rainbow
The archetype of the mad genius dates back to at least classical times, when Aristotle noted, “Those who have been eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia.”
—“Secrets of the Creative Brain,” Nancy C.
Here is the problem in writing letters to your kids—perhaps especially as a writer, who has arguably spent her entire professional life writing letters to everyone who isn’t her kids: How do you suddenly start writing in a grand literary fashion to two small people whom, heretofore, you pretty much have only talked to as follows: “Did you brush?” “Did you wash your hands?” “Did you put it in the hamper?” and “Don’t flush it before I can see it.”
Peep here for a meditation on writing letters to your little Yous, and to read missives sent from the likes of Fitzgerald, Vonnegut, and Sexton to their offspring....more
Did Vonnegut call it when he expressed his concerns about literature “disappearing up its own [asterisks]”? To all the postmodern articles on why postmodern articles don’t get looked at, to all the callow insecurity, the boggy, invasive, self-reflexivity, the semantic, obsessive, genre-tagging: Stop it and write....more
I began reading Kurt Vonnegut after I had slid too far down to climb back up the slide of becoming a full-blown pessimist.
I remember feeling this during a month long trip to Mexico. I saw villages with homes made of cardboard boxes and sheet metal....more