A Memorial to Kurt Vonnegut

Dear Writers,
I wanted to share with you this fascinating interview with Kurt Vonnegut “Vonnegut on Fiction.” It originally appeared in a Writer’s Digest specialty publication in 2002.

“I certainly didn’t expect to succeed to the extent I have. I mean, it’s not phenomenal, but I certainly didn’t expect to amount to much.”
-Kurt Vonnegut

You know how I love quotes and I found this gem in the interview. What a remarkable man. Did he not even realize he changed the way we all think about literature?

He will be greatly missed.

Until next time…

Keep Writing,
Maria

P.S. If you have a favorite Vonnegut quote or book or character, please share here in his honor.

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4 thoughts on “A Memorial to Kurt Vonnegut

  1. Gena

    A year ago Kurt Vonnegut’s, A Man Without A Country: A Memoir Of Life In George W Bush’s America, was published.

    In it he wrote:

    If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

    THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED

    FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

    WAS MUSIC

  2. Kerry wood

    Third time’s (I hope) the charm.

    I have special affection for a minor short story of Vonnegut’s–"The Long Walk to Forever." I anthologized it in a short story colllection I edited for Scott, Foresman & Co. The story contrast the simple naturalness of human love and marriage with the commercialized assembly-line routine stuff that Vonnegut captures in the magazine devoted entirely to brides and newspaper betrothal announcements. The hero Newt (the one-syllable name he shares with a lowly creature in nature contrasts with that of his never-seen antagonist Henry Stuart Chasens) wins the love of Catherine, but not until he gets her away from the house–"one foot in front of the other, through leaves and trees"–and into a natural setting. The background sounds of the bell tower of the school for the blind, the chicadee, the automobile engine that nagged and failed, nagged and failed are form a symbolic underpinning for the action.

    It would also be a good story to use in discussing Elmore Leonard’s insistence
    that no other word than "said" should be used when writing dialogue.

  3. Dori

    "Harrison Bergeron" changed me so much when I read it. The story inspired me, but also scared me to death. I could see so much of what he was talking about going on around me in school. The story really opened my eyes. I cannot thank Mr. Vonnegut enough.

  4. Kevin Alexander

    Ok. So I didn’t read many of the books we were assigned in high school, mostly because they were assigned and I was kind of a bad ass, but I did read Cat’s Cradle and quickly became obsessed with Vonnegut enough that I photocopied a page of the book and put it on the bulletin board in my bedroom next to a stub of Celtics ticket from a 1994 game vs. Portland and a beer coaster that says ‘Corona’.
    Here is the quote that was on that page:

    "He said science was going to discover the basic secret of life someday," the bartender put in. He scratched his head and frowned. "Didn’t I read in the paper the other day where they’d finally found out what it was?"
    "I missed that," I murmured.
    "I saw that," said Sandra. "About two days ago."
    "That’s right," said the bartender.
    "What is the secret of life?" I asked.
    "I forget," said Sandra.
    "Protein," the bartender declared. "They found out something about protein."
    "Yeah," said Sandra, "that’s it." — Cat’s Cradle

    He will definitely be missed.

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