Kurt Vonnegut, a Cape Codder for many years, truly left his mark locally and globally. Leading a half century career, he continues to inspire readers today. Vonnegut’s dynamic storytelling has taught timeless lessons, leaving readers pondering the complexities of everyday life. His unique style, where metafiction and marvel come to a crossroad, stands out in the literary world.
I recently interviewed some of those close to Kurt Vonnegut regarding his captivating writing. I learned a great deal about the life and work of this great author.
Nanette Vonnegut, Kurt Vonnegut’s daughter, said “My father’s writing style was simple, but highly crafted. It dances around, is sometimes poetic and reminds me of Fred Astaire’s tap dancing…brilliant and spot on with unexpected dips and turns. His writing style is in a category all its own”.
Rodney Allen, a Kurt Vonnegut scholar, expounded upon these assertions. Rodney Allen professed that Vonnegut wanted to attempt to “creative a narrative to describe the way we describe our lives in our own mind”. In fact, he believes that Vonnegut’s style “seems improvised, casual, not too fancy”.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote Slaughterhouse-Five, a novel artistically encompassing World War II and time travel. Mark Vonnegut, Kurt Vonnegut’s son, believes what stands out most in Slaughterhouse-Five, is “the touching details about people contrasting with war”. When asked about the unchronological order of the work, Mark Vonnegut said that “he made the reader get invested in putting things together”.
Through the interview series I conducted, I discovered a new dimension of Kurt Vonnegut’s writing style. After learning more about the world of Kurt Vonnegut, I want to read more of his works. I suggest his work to those looking to embark on an entertaining read.
Nanette Vonnegut mentioned, “my father really meant to keep his readers entertained, not straining to understand”. She continued saying, “I hope they can enjoy the rhythm and poetry of his writing while he is talking about who we are as humans, how senseless war is, how lovable we can be”. Kurt Vonnegut’s work stands out in her mind, as Nanette mentioned, “my father’s way was very unconventional, maybe that can open the door to students to not be afraid to try new things, new ways of saying things. He did not make a distinction between art forms, he felt they were all ways to make us grow as a human beings”.