But in this critical study, Robert Tally argues that Vonnegut himself is actually a modernist, who is less interested in indulging in the free play of signifiers than in attempting to construct a model that could encompass the American experience at the end of the twentieth century. As a modernist wrestling with a postmodern condition, Vonnegut makes use of diverse and sometimes eccentric narrative techniques such as metafiction, collage, and temporal slippages to project a comprehensive vision of life in the United States. Vonnegut's novels thus become experiments in making sense of the radical transformations of self and society during that curious, unstable period called, perhaps ironically, the 'American Century. Anxiety and the Jargon of Authenticity:
Indianapolis, Indiana American writer, essayist, and dramatist Kurt Vonnegut is acknowledged as a major voice in American literature and applauded for his subtle criticisms and sharp portrayal of modern society.
Early life Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Vonnegut was raised along with his sister, Alice, and brother Bernard whom he spoke of frequently in his works.
Fourth-generation Germans, the children were never exposed to their heritage because of the anti-German attitudes that had spread throughout the United States after World War I —18; a war in which many European countries, some Middle Eastern nations, Russia, and the United States fought against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey.
Because of the Great Depression the severe economic downturn in the sthe Vonneguts lost most of their wealth and the household was never the same.
After attending Cornell University, where he majored in chemistry and biology, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving in the World War II —45; a war fought between the Axis powers: Germany, Italy, and Japan—and the Allies: This would set the stage for another crucial element for his writings when he was taken prisoner by the German army.
Following the war, Vonnegut studied anthropology at the University of Chicago and later moved to Schenectady, New York, to work as a publicist for the General Electric Corporation.
During this period, he also began submitting short stories to various journals, and inhe resigned his position at General Electric to devote his time solely to writing. The novels Vonnegut published several novels throughout the s and s, beginning with Player Piano in Player Piano depicts a fictional city called Ilium in which the people have given control of their lives to a computer humorously named EPICAC, after a substance that causes vomiting.
The Sirens of Titan takes place on several different planets, including a thoroughly militarized Mars, where the inhabitants are electronically controlled. The novel recounts the discovery of a form of ice, called ice-nine, which is solid at a much lower temperature than normal ice and is capable of solidifying all water on Earth.
Ice-nine serves as a symbol of the enormous destructive potential of technology, particularly when developed or used without regard for the welfare of humanity. Vonnegut described Slaughterhouse-Five as a novel he was compelled to write, since it is based on one of the most extraordinary and significant events of his life.
During World War II when he was a prisoner of the German Army, Vonnegut witnessed the Allied bombing of Dresden, Germany, which destroyed the city and killed more than one hundred thirty-five thousand people. One of the few to survive, Vonnegut was ordered by his captors to aid in the grisly task of digging bodies from the rubble and destroying them in huge bonfires.
Because the city of Dresden had little military value, its destruction went nearly unnoticed in the press. Like Vonnegut, the main character of Slaughterhouse-Five, named Billy Pilgrim, was present at the bombing of Dresden and has been deeply affected by the experience.
His feelings develop into spiritual uncertainty that results in a nervous breakdown. In addition, he suffers from a peculiar condition, of being "unstuck in time," meaning that he randomly experiences events from his past, present, and future. The novel is therefore a complex, nonchronological in no order of time narrative in which images of suffering and loss prevail.
Breakfast of Champions After the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut entered a period of depression during which he vowed, at one point, never to write another novel.
He concentrated, instead, on lecturing, teaching, and finishing a play, Happy Birthday, Wanda June, that he had begun several years earlier. The play, which ran Off-Broadway from October to Marchreceived mixed reviews.
Many critics believe that, having at last come to terms with Dresden, he lost the major inspiration for much of his work; others feel that Slaughterhouse-Five may have been the single great novel that Vonnegut was capable of writing. Whatever the cause, Breakfast of Champions marked the end of his depression and a return to the novel.
In this novel however, the author seems to be even more wrapped up in his characters than usual. He appears as Philboyd Sludge, the writer of the book, which stars Dwayne Hoover, a Pontiac dealer Vonnegut once ran a Saab dealership who goes berserk after reading a novel by Kilgore Trout, who also represents Vonnegut.
Toward the end of the book, Vonnegut arranges a meeting between himself and Trout, whom Robert Merrill calls his "most famous creation," in which he casts the character loose forever; by this time the previously unsuccessful Trout has become rich and famous and is finally able to stand on his own.
Before its release Vonnegut noted that Timequake would be his last novel. Although many of these works are highly regarded, critics frequently argue that in his later works Vonnegut tends to reiterate themes presented more compellingly in earlier works.
Nevertheless, Vonnegut remains one of the most-loved American writers.
Kurt Vonnegut, in full Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., (born November 11, , Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.—died April 11, , New York, New York), American writer noted for his wryly satirical novels who frequently used postmodern techniques as well as elements of fantasy and science fiction to highlight the horrors and ironies of 20th-century civilization. Reviews “Kurt Vonnegut and the American Novel is an exciting re-evaluation of this much overlooked author's work. Tally deftly rereads Vonnegut's novels, situating them in an American tradition of fiction that seeks to make sense of the larger American experience. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to third-generation German-American parents, Edith (Lieber) Vonnegut and Kurt Vonnegut, Sr.. Both his father and his grandfather Bernard Vonnegut attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and were architects in the Indianapolis firm of Vonnegut & Bohn.
For More Information Bloom, Harold, ed. Fates Worse Than Death:Kurt Vonnegut is acknowledged as a major voice in American literature and applauded for his subtle criticisms and sharp portrayal of modern society.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was born on November 11, , in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of a successful architect, Kurt Sr., and his wife, Edith Sophia.
Kurt Vonnegut Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
is a contemporary American author whose works have been described by Richard Giannone as "comic masks covering the tragic . Kurt Vonnegut, in full Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., (born November 11, , Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.—died April 11, , New York, New York), American writer noted for his wryly satirical novels who frequently used postmodern techniques as well as elements of fantasy and science fiction to highlight the horrors and ironies of 20th-century civilization.
Reviews “Kurt Vonnegut and the American Novel is an exciting re-evaluation of this much overlooked author's work. Tally deftly rereads Vonnegut's novels, situating them in an American tradition of fiction that seeks to make sense of the larger American experience.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (/ ˈ v ɒ n ə ɡ ə t /; November 11, – April 11, ) was an American writer. In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of initiativeblog.comen: 3 biological, including Mark and Edith; 4 adopted.
Indiana author connection with Kurt Vonnegut (Indy Style on WISH-TV, 7/12/13) Kurt Jr. and the Vonneguts Rare military training cartoons to be shown at Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (Dayton Daily private nonprofit organization The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library is proud to partner with the following American Writer's Museum.