Kurt Vonnegut: The Last Interview: And Other Conversations by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

By Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

One of the good American iconoclasts holds forth on politics, conflict, books and writers, and his own lifestyles in a chain of conversations, together with his final released interview.

During his lengthy profession Kurt Vonnegut gained overseas compliment for his novels, performs, and essays. during this new anthology of conversations with Vonnegut—which collects interviews from all through his career—we study a lot approximately what drove Vonnegut to put in writing and the way he seen his paintings on the end.

<u>From Kurt Vonnegut's final interview</u>

Is there one other booklet in you, via chance?

No. glance, I’m eighty four years outdated. Writers of fiction have often performed their most sensible paintings by the point they’re forty five. Chess masters are via whilst they’re 35, and so are baseball gamers. there are many other folks writing. allow them to do it.

So what’s the previous man’s video game, then?

My nation is in ruins. So I’m a fish in a poisoned fishbowl. I’m in general simply heartsick approximately this. There must have been wish. this could were a good state. yet we're despised worldwide now. i used to be hoping to construct a rustic and upload to its literature. That’s why I served in international struggle II, and that’s why I wrote books.

When a person reads one in every of your books, what do you want them to take from the experience?

Well, I’d just like the guy—or the lady, of course—to positioned the publication down and imagine, “This is the best guy who ever lived.”

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One of many nice American iconoclasts holds forth on politics, conflict, books and writers, and his own lifestyles in a sequence of conversations, together with his final released interview.

During his lengthy profession Kurt Vonnegut received foreign compliment for his novels, performs, and essays. during this new anthology of conversations with Vonnegut—which collects interviews from all through his career—we study a lot approximately what drove Vonnegut to jot down and the way he considered his paintings on the end.

<u>From Kurt Vonnegut's final interview</u>

Is there one other ebook in you, via chance?

No. glance, I’m eighty four years previous. Writers of fiction have frequently performed their most sensible paintings by the point they’re forty five. Chess masters are via while they’re 35, and so are baseball avid gamers. there are many other folks writing. allow them to do it.

So what’s the previous man’s online game, then?

My state is in ruins. So I’m a fish in a poisoned fishbowl. I’m normally simply heartsick approximately this. There must have been desire. this could were an excellent nation. yet we're despised worldwide now. i used to be hoping to construct a rustic and upload to its literature. That’s why I served in international warfare II, and that’s why I wrote books.

When a person reads one in all your books, what do you want them to take from the experience?

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Just so, in Lowell’s version of The Oresteia of Aeschylus (1978) the vengeful Furies who incite violence are described by Apollo as ‘monsters fed on anarchy and boredom’ (Or 117), while Prometheus Bound (1969), Lowell’s other re-rendering of Aeschylus, dwells upon ‘the torment of idleness’ (PB 7) and describes Prometheus suffering the vengeance of a divine force at once ‘empty’ and ‘tireless’ (47). His punisher Zeus, ‘walled in by his indifference’ (61), is imagined sitting ‘in an armory of power, all force at his fingertips’, the agent of a violent energy from which he is oddly dissociated: ‘he himself… he is not powerful’ (43).

The state, if we could see behind the wall, is woven of perishable vegetation. Stalin? What shot him clawing up the tree of power – millions plowed under with the crops they grew, his intimates dying like the spider-bridegroom? The large stomach could only chew success. What raised him was an unusual lust to break the icon, joke cruelly, seriously, and be himself. (LCP 540) There is a troubling briskness to this account of Stalin’s motivations. 17 More unsettling still are Lowell’s final two words: although it would be presumptuous to infer that he sought to excuse ShadesofAuthority text:Royal 10/9/07 13:58 Page 35 the poet and the tyrant 35 Stalin’s acts of oppression and brutality on the grounds that the dictator was simply trying to ‘be himself’, nonetheless the ‘frightening blank’ produced by the poem’s starkly reductive closing phrase lends weight to the forceful objections of Von Hallberg: ‘This is an outrageous poem.

21 The implied connection between the Russian autocrat and the figure of the poet, in fact, dates back to the Life Studies elegy ‘To Delmore Schwartz’, in which Stalin’s ‘cerebral hemorrhages’ are (confusingly) aligned with the ‘despondency and madness’ which Wordsworth predicted for poets in their later life (LCP 157–58); the link is reinforced in the History volume when, in the poem ‘Student’, Stalin is described as ‘something of an artist’ (549) – perhaps a reference to the fact that he dabbled in the craft of poetry before turning his attention to statecraft.

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