How I Learned to Think: Thanks to Kurt Vonnegut

I don’t do very much creative writing, so not many authors can be said to have influenced my personal writing. However, I do do a lot of thinking. And I have done a lot of reading. If I did write more, I would argue that the authors I have read have influenced my thinking far more than they have influenced my writing. In particular, reading Kurt Vonnegut has influenced my thinking and my ability to question the world.

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I began reading Vonnegut (Cat’s Cradle) as a junior in high school as part of a book report project. His imaginative look at the pitfalls of our society opened my eyes to the possibility that the world could be changed, that it was not perfect and needed some close attention. His writing was revolutionary to me. I had never really and sincerely experienced satire and social criticism in a way that was accessible to me. I went on a Vonnegut-rampage for about 5 years, reading everything I could get my hands on, including collections of essays and drawings.

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Now, I can say that his messages, if not his style, have infiltrated my own life and writing. I just finished writing my MA thesis, which is filled with social criticism and social reform proposals. Even if unintentionally, on my part, Vonnegut’s literary politics have infiltrated my thoughts, passion, and writing.

 

See Alan’s post for more on Vonnegut

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