Vonnegut in Fact
The Public Spokesmanship of Personal Fiction
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
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Table of Contents
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Kurt Vonnegut has helped me locate copies of his speeches and some of his harder-to-find essays and reviews, for which I am grateful. I also appreciate his willingness to let me quote his work as I have done in this study. Such quotations come from publications of first appearance except where, ...
Introduction The Private Person as Public Figure
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When on November 1, 1993, Kurt Vonnegut spoke to an overflow crowd at Heritage Hall in the Civic Center of Lexington, Kentucky, he was almost certainly motivated by a principle drawn from Cat's Cradle, his novel published thirty years before. ...
Chapter One: Emerging from Anonymity
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At the beginning of 1969 Kurt Vonnegut was forty-six years old and the author of five novels, two short-story collections, forty-six separately published short stories (in magazines as familiar as Collier's and the Saturday Evening Post), and twenty feature essays and reviews. However, he was almost totally unknown—unknown in public terms, that is. ...
Chapter Two: Short-Story Salesmanship
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"Let me begin by saying. . . ." These are the first published words of Kurt Vonnegut, fiction writer-phrased, appropriately enough, in the terms of public spokesmanship. Then, as would be an effective trick later on in actual public speaking, he breaks one of the form's first rules by making an apology: ...
Chapter Three: The Road to Wampeters
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Kurt Vonnegut came to essay writing near the end of his career as a short fictionist and well after his intentions as a novelist had been established. His most apparent motive for doing such pieces was the same as for his stories: to buy time for writing those novels, since only after seventeen years and on the sixth try would one earn him a living wage. ...
Chapter Four: Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons
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Characteristically, Kurt Vonnegut begins his first collection of nonfiction prose with a preface. And in it he makes the same type of disclaimers that distinguish the preface to his selected short stories, Welcome to the Monkey House. There he had said he was self-taught and could claim no secrets or share any theories about how to succeed in the genre; ...
Chapter Five: Palm Sunday
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If Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons follows the progress of public spokesmanship in the making, Palm Sunday1 displays the presentational talents of a spokesmanship fully formed. Nearly half the materials of the earlier book were written in virtual anonymity, certainly with no thought of their ultimate collection in book form. ...
Chapter Six: Fates Worse than Death
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Kurt Vonnegut's third collection of nonfiction prose1 is called an autobiographical collage as well, but it takes a further step toward seamlessness by forsaking the subject headings that distinguished Palm Sunday. There, most notably in the volume's table of contents, each essay, review, or address retained its original title. ...
Chapter Seven: A Public Preface for Personal Fiction
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Between 1966, when the hardcover edition of his paperback original Mother Night was issued, and 1985, when his eleventh novel, Galápagos, was published, Kurt Vonnegut would begin each of his books with comments indicating his own involvement with the text. In the cases of Happy Birthday, Wanda June and Between Time and Timbuktu, ...
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Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2012