The Writing Life: Advice from a Counterculture Icon

I haven’t read Vonnegut since college, and his “rule” about semicolons is crap, but his comments about writing and art making in this blog post are just wonderful.

The Daily Post

Everyone should read at least one Kurt Vonnegut book — Welcome to the Monkey House and Mother Night are my favorites. They’re blunt. Dark. Demanding. And they make you think, and laugh, and want to be a better person. What more can we ask of literature, and what better person to turn to for tough love on writing?

It’s not surprising that his thoughts on art, writing, and the writing life are just as thought-provoking, funny, and inspiring…

If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the…

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One thought on “The Writing Life: Advice from a Counterculture Icon

  1. Agreed; a good article with some excellent points.

    The original poster, however, says something that always sends steam out my nostrils: “…blunt. Dark. Demanding. And they make you think, and laugh, and want to be a better person. What more can we ask of literature…?”

    Well, we can ask people who talk about literature to broaden their definition to include qualities beyond dark, blunt, and demanding. Thought can be provoked, and one can “want to be a better person,” from reading material that is subtle, and focused on un-dark things. Laughter can be invoked by darn near anything across the spectrum.

    (Though I fail to find the humor in declarations like this: “Novelists have, on the average, about the same IQs as the cosmetic consultants at Bloomingdale’s department store.” That’s insulting to both parties. Perhaps because the quote is out of context is why the humor doesn’t come through to me. Sure doesn’t inspire me to read Vonnegut if that’s a representative sample!)

    Liked by 1 person

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