typing is not activism….

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Kurt Vonnegut 1922 – 2007 RIP.

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The only specifically American inventions that have made this a better world are Alcoholics Anonymous and jazz, and jazz has no bad side effects. But one piece of AA’s advice to recovering addicts, that they live one day at a time, so infects the brains of those who are wrecking the planet as a life-support system nowadays, recovering addicts or not, that it might as well be Hong Kong chicken flu or mad-cow disease. To have gotten through Tuesday, say, with an atmosphere still breathable and water still potable at bedtime is for those so afflicted to be as happy as pigs in shit, so to speak.

Vonnegut from The Work to be Done, Rolling Stone May 28, 1998

from Wikipedia:

“On pages 9 and 10 of his book, Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction, Vonnegut stated that there are eight rules for writing a short story.

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.”


and from Requiem For a Dreamer, at InTheseTimes.com


KV: What are you effing writing now?
TROUT: It’s about how the future has as much to do with the present as the past does. Giraffes can only have come from the future. There’s no way evolution in the past would have let something that defenseless and impractical live for 15 minutes.

KV: If you say so.
TROUT: Try this: The First World War was caused by the second one. Otherwise the first one makes no sense, wasn’t about anything. And all Picasso had to do was paint pictures that were already hanging in museums in the future.

TROUT: Just trying to be Einstein. You never know. But hey, the two people you said were so smart were both men. Women say smart things, too. I went walking with a woman the other day, if you can believe it, and I stopped to retie my shoes, and she said, “Every time I go for a walk with a man he always has to stop to retie his shoes. Why won’t men tie double knots? A fear of commitment?” How’s that for anthropology, the science of man? I’ll bet they didn’t teach you about men and shoelaces at Chicago.

KV: That isn’t anthropology. That’s sociology.
TROUT: What’s the difference? I’ve often wondered.
KV: A sociologist is paid by the Sociology Department. An anthropologist is paid by the Anthropology Department.
TROUT: Glad to have that cleared up.

KV: Knowledge is power.

Vonnegut speaks from another place

or feisty and fleshy with a familiar face.


Kurt Vonnegut 1922 – ∞ RIP


Written by typingisnotactivism

April 12, 2007 at 3:19 pm

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