Share via Email This article is over 6 years old Despite being hailed by so many as a genius, Kurt Vonnegut felt that the literary establishment never took him seriously. The book paints a picture of a man who was often distant from his children, cruel to a long-suffering first wife, caught in an unpleasant second marriage and spent much of his later years depressed and angry.
See Article History Alternative Titles: Kurt Vonnegut, in full Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Vonnegut grew up in Indianapolis in a well-to-do family, although his father, an architect, was unemployed during much of the Great Depression.
As a teenager, Vonnegut wrote for his high school newspaper, and he continued the activity at Cornell University in IthacaNew York, where he majored in biochemistry before leaving in to enlist in the U.
After the war Vonnegut took graduate courses in anthropology at the University of Chicago while working as a reporter. He was later employed as a public relations writer in upstate New York, but his reservations about what he considered the deceitfulness of the profession led him to pursue fiction writing full-time.
In the early s Vonnegut began publishing short stories. Many of them were concerned with technology and the future, which led some critics to classify Vonnegut as a science fiction writer, though he resisted the label. His first novelPlayer Pianoelaborates on those themes, visualizing a completely mechanized and automated society whose dehumanizing effects are unsuccessfully resisted by the scientists and workers in a New York factory town.
Vonnegut abandoned science fiction tropes altogether in Mother Night ; filma novel about an American playwright who serves as a spy in Nazi Germany. God Bless You, Mr.
Rosewater centres on the title character, an eccentric philanthropist, but also introduces the writer Kilgore Trout, a fictional alter ego of Vonnegut who appears throughout his oeuvre. Explicitly drawing on his Dresden experience, Vonnegut crafted an absurdist nonlinear narrative in which the bombing raid serves as a symbol of the cruelty and destructiveness of war through the centuries.
Critics lauded Slaughterhouse-Five as a modern-day classic. Breakfast of Champions; or, Goodbye Blue Monday! Though reviews were mixed, it quickly became a best seller.
Slapstick; or, Lonesome No More! While Vonnegut remained prolific throughout the s, he struggled with depression and in attempted suicide.
In he published A Man Without a Country: A Memoir of Life in George W. We Are What We Pretend to Be comprised an early unpublished novella and a fragment of a novel unfinished at his death. A selection of his correspondence was published as Letters Vonnegut, KurtKurt Vonnegut, In addition to promoting the work of Vonnegut, the nonprofit organization served as a cultural and educational resource centre, including a museum, an art gallery, and a reading room.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:It is the episodic story of Billy Pilgrim, a small town American boy, who is a POW in the second world war, later becomes a successful optometrist and who occasionally and accidentally travels in time to other periods of his life, so he has "memories of the future"/5(K).
The prayer represents Billy’s everyday life, which reminds him of his fantasy perceived world of the Tralfamadorians. The importance of sight is a very important theme in this novel. The importance of sight is a difficult concept to comprehend, but yet very true. The novel is centered around the time-travel experiences of the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, who is based on, but not to be taken as identical with, Vonnegut himself.
Two intense personal experiences that Vonnegut reworks into Billy Pilgrim's life are his capture by the Germans in the World War II.
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.
The main character, Billy Pilgrim, is a young soldier who becomes a prisoner of war and works in an underground meat locker, not unlike Vonnegut, but with a notable exception: Pilgrim begins to. Kurt Vonnegut Biography Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List Some of Kurt Vonnegut's critics have called him a skeptic, a pessimist, a fatalist, a malcontent — everything from a cynic to a worrywart — for his seemingly depressive view of civilization.