Essays Written Kurt Vonnegut

Essays Written Kurt Vonnegut-41
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Kurt Vonnegut could bend words like no one else and create satire that deconstructed complicated themes into relatable, entertaining stories. My view of the world (and my writing) was forever changed. Vonnegut came across my Facebook feed this morning (thanks to my writerly friend @Joe LRobb).

That year I read every other Vonnegut book I could get my hands on.

Kurt Vonnegut’s 1985 essay “How to Write With Style” is a definite gem to add to your collection.

The author of the best-selling novel outlines eight steps you can follow to improve your writing. I’ve taken my favorite quotes from Vonnegut’s essay and presented them in a helpful infographic. If you would like to read Vonnegut’s essay in its entirety, you can find it online here. Who were these enemies that this other guy wanted to have killed?

Take the opening paragraph of All this happened, more or less. One guy I knew really was shot in Dresden for taking a teapot that wasn’t his. There are so many articles vying for our readers’ attention.

Another guy I knew really did threaten to have his personal enemies killed by hired gunmen after the war. If a reader isn’t hooked by the first paragraph, he’s probably not going to keep reading.If you enjoyed Vonnegut’s eight rules for writing with style, you might also like his eight rules for fiction writing.And here’s another bonus for all of you Vonnegut fans: a short video of Vonnegut presenting what he believes are the three different types of stories.Kurt Vonnegut certainly practiced what he preached. There are no unnecessary adjectives or flowery language. Vonnegut’s style is particularly suited to blogging.Although his fiction is not always to my taste, I do have to admit that he was a master of the craft. In this medium, we want to get our point across quickly.They discuss basic research— “pure research”—and its aim to expand knowledge with no attention paid to practical applications. In a mock-serious tone, the scientist says that marines were sick of mud.Why couldn’t someone invent machinery or a pill that would rid soldiers of the burden of mud?Rather, Kunze contends that Vonnegut’s fiction is “‘gray comedy,’ a blend of absurdist black humor with guarded sense of hope.” For Kunze, Vonnegut’s fiction displays “an optimism that aims to uplift, even encourage, the audience.” In “Vonnegut’s Sense of Humor,” Kunze and coauthor Robert Tally write, “The humor is rooted in this sense of the absurd, depicting a world—the ‘end of the world,’ in fact—in which nearly everyone behaves badly and there is little to no hope for humanity.” They add: “Vonnegut instructs the reader through grim jokes, and the reader knowingly chuckles not because it is funny…but as a means of making sense of the absurdity and apparent hopelessness confronting us.” To sum it up, Kunze and Tally write, “His humor—sometimes immature, sometimes gloomy, always urgent—remains essential to his cautiously optimistic vision of the world and his hopes for a better future.” , Vonnegut brings our attention to the absurdity of war by showing readers how wars destroy young men and dehumanize, rather than masculinize.This is ridiculous, of course, and we grin as we read.The mocking tone allows Vonnegut to slip truths past the readers’ defenses.


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