Nanette Vonnegut on Her Father

To accompany the new Kurt Vonnegut book, We Are What We Pretend To Be: The First and Last Works, the author's youngest daughter Nanette gave an interview to The Rumpus. It covers a lot of personal insight into Vonnegut's life, like the effect World War II had on him.  

My father was remembering what it was like and he knew: these are a batch of babies going off to war for nothing. There was a reviewer, William Deresiewicz, who writes for The Nation. He said Slaughterhouse-Five is not a book about flying saucers; it’s a book about post-traumatic stress disorder.

Rumpus: You hadn’t looked at it that way before?

Vonnegut: Nobody had the words for it back then.

Rumpus: So when your dad wrote he was expelling demons.

Vonnegut: He was expelling them with writing and with artwork. If he wasn’t writing he was creating terraces on our patio. He was a nonstop creative force. It was like he had to keep busy or he would die.

The demons gave him the impetus. I do think people are born with the seed of genius, and it either gets worked or it doesn’t. Probably his experiences [in WWII] gave him the impetus to create. Everything he wrote about stemmed from that.

The entire interview is a fascinating read for Vonnegut fans. Link -via The Atlantic


Newest 3
Newest 3 Comments

Interesting, but irrelevant. Unless, of course, you find the struggle against the communists - or, as Orwell called them the "Red fascists" - to be "nothing". In either case, the "babies going off to war for nothing" meme was, and is, nonsense.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
>>Yes, WWII was fought for "nothing". Pathetic
If you had taken the time to actually read the article, that quote you find so 'pathetic' was a reactionary statement Kurt Vonnegut was making when watching news coverage of the Vietnam War. Since you may not be aware, he had PSTD issues from when he served our nation in WWII (as a soldier and POW).
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
"My father was remembering what it was like and he knew: these are a batch of babies going off to war for nothing."

Yes, WWII was fought for "nothing". Pathetic.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.





Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Give a Man a Fish - Twaggies by Twaggies
Email This Post to a Friend
"Nanette Vonnegut on Her Father"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window