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(Slate)   Back in the 1960's Kurt Vonnegut taught fiction writing. Here's his term paper assignment. Today's response: LOL TL;DR   (slate.com ) divider line
    More: Cool, term papers, LOL TL, Kurt Vonnegut, Acura TLs, term paper assignment, literary magazine, animal husbandry, recess appointment  
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6126 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Dec 2012 at 11:43 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-01 05:24:53 AM  
www.ifc.com
 
2012-12-01 08:51:10 AM  
He sounds more interesting than all my profs added together.
 
2012-12-01 09:10:07 AM  
when i went to iowa, there was an annual party at "the vonnegut house," which was apparently owned or owned at one time by the author. it basically involved a thousand hippies dropping acid and partying around a giant bonfire. i can't stand hippies, normally, but it was a helluva party.

i believe tennessee williams and john irving also taught at the workshop at one time or another. it really is (or was) the best program of its kind in the nation.
 
2012-12-01 10:40:16 AM  
Are you sure that's not a McSweeney's piece masquerading as a Vonnegut work?
 
2012-12-01 12:05:44 PM  

FlashHarry: i believe tennessee williams and john irving also taught at the workshop at one time or another. it really is (or was) the best program of its kind in the nation.


Yeah, the assignment would be harsh if it were for freshman lit, but for some place like that, it should at least attempt to kick your ass.
 
2012-12-01 12:06:02 PM  
ding-a-ling you wonderful sunuvabiatch.
 
2012-12-01 12:09:54 PM  

DrPainMD: [www.ifc.com image 310x229]


"And, Thornton, whoever you got to write your paper on Kurt Vonnegut obviously knows nothing about Kurt Vonnegut's work."
 
2012-12-01 12:22:48 PM  
I was just reading about Kurt Vonnegut's short and possibly fictional career as a sportswriter for Sports Illustrated. Supposedly, he was given a first assignment to write about a horse at the Kentucky Derby that jumped a fence while being worked out.

He thought and thought, and finally wrote, "The horse jumped over the farking fence." and walked out, never to return.

/gotta admire that
 
2012-12-01 12:28:55 PM  

edmo: He sounds more interesting than all my profs added together.


I am a prof. And he certainly sounds more interesting than all of me.

(This is clearly betraying my pedestrian mentality, but my first thought was "how the buggy ding-dong do you GRADE that?")
 
2012-12-01 12:37:59 PM  

Son of Thunder: edmo: He sounds more interesting than all my profs added together.

I am a prof. And he certainly sounds more interesting than all of me.

(This is clearly betraying my pedestrian mentality, but my first thought was "how the buggy ding-dong do you GRADE that?")


I "Smart"ed and "Funny"ed your reply, as it is a wise man who knows his limitations.
 
2012-12-01 12:58:29 PM  
I'm pretty sure LOL TL;DR is the method GRR Martin used when he decided to write epic(war if the roses copy) fantasy for Gen Y readers. I swear to fark, reading that guy is like watching an episode of Heroes. I pretty much fly into a nerd rage every time I hear people gushing about that hack. They could have made an epic tv show based on a good authors work, sigh

/end rant
 
2012-12-01 01:26:22 PM  
I farking love Vonnegut.

/so it goes
//he's in Heaven now
 
2012-12-01 01:34:01 PM  
Great mind. I enjoy everything he does.
 
2012-12-01 01:44:27 PM  

neongoats: I'm pretty sure LOL TL;DR is the method GRR Martin used when he decided to write epic(war if the roses copy) fantasy for Gen Y readers. I swear to fark, reading that guy is like watching an episode of Heroes. I pretty much fly into a nerd rage every time I hear people gushing about that hack. They could have made an epic tv show based on a good authors work, sigh

/end rant


Damn, I thought I was the only one.
 
2012-12-01 01:49:27 PM  

neongoats: I'm pretty sure LOL TL;DR is the method GRR Martin used when he decided to write epic(war if the roses copy) fantasy for Gen Y readers. I swear to fark, reading that guy is like watching an episode of Heroes. I pretty much fly into a nerd rage every time I hear people gushing about that hack. They could have made an epic tv show based on a good authors work, sigh

/end rant


Sigh, indeed
 
2012-12-01 01:51:54 PM  

Son of Thunder: edmo: He sounds more interesting than all my profs added together.

I am a prof. And he certainly sounds more interesting than all of me.

(This is clearly betraying my pedestrian mentality, but my first thought was "how the buggy ding-dong do you GRADE that?")


You grade it by how well the students word their arguments. You don't have to agree with what they say, it is all about how well they get their point af view across and how much course material they use in backing up their statements.

I'm almost tempted to go find the short story volume that was a part of the assignment.

I really like how specific he is in his instructions. In contrast, one English lit class I took the professor handed us a short story and then simply said "explicate it," without any further instructions.
 
2012-12-01 01:54:28 PM  

neongoats: I'm pretty sure LOL TL;DR is the method GRR Martin used when he decided to write epic(war if the roses copy) fantasy for Gen Y readers. I swear to fark, reading that guy is like watching an episode of Heroes. I pretty much fly into a nerd rage every time I hear people gushing about that hack. They could have made an epic tv show based on a good authors work, sigh

/end rant


If Heroes had been done like Game of Thrones on HBO, at least we would've had endless topless shots of Hayden Panettiere and Ali Larter.

/could go for an intelligent miniseries based on Deed of Paksenarrion
 
2012-12-01 02:10:30 PM  
This sounds like the greatest exercise. I think I'm going to do it; it's got to be at least as fun and fulfilling as watching TV.
 
2012-12-01 03:40:35 PM  
The 1955 edition of Haviquist's book seems to actually contain 24 stories, not 15.
 
2012-12-01 03:51:39 PM  

kevinatilusa: The 1955 edition of Haviquist's book seems to actually contain 24 stories, not 15.


Because among the many things Vonnegut was world famous for it was a constipated obsession and adherance to pedantic and useless facts.

Love me some Vonnegut. Need to re-read Slaughterhouse 5.

There anyone similar out there? My reading is primarily modern/contemporary/right-fing-now trash fiction/fantasy, but Vonnegut is amazing.
 
2012-12-01 04:13:44 PM  

Coffee Snob: I farking love Vonnegut.

/so it goes
//he's in Heaven now


Along with Issac Asimov ;)
 
2012-12-01 04:23:50 PM  
Actually, if anyone would like a glorious modern anthology, you might try The Secret History of Fantasy (2010) edited by Peter Beagle. It has some wonderful fantasy stories in it. Fantasy in the old sense of fantastic, not merely sword and sorcery.
 
2012-12-01 05:48:45 PM  

mallard57: Coffee Snob: I farking love Vonnegut.

/so it goes
//he's in Heaven now

Along with Issac Asimov ;)


And Christopher Hitchens.
 
2012-12-01 09:26:22 PM  
Ima let you finish, but Vonnegut is one of the best authors of all time.

He is also one of the best philosophers, though referring to him in that regard you should have to include the word unorthodox (for lack of a better word. Considering Vonnegut as an unorthodox philosopher is akin to referring to Bill Gates as a slightly business savvy man with a few extra bucks).

I thought I knew Vonnegut, I thought I understood him after reading nearly every piece of fiction he'd ever written. Then I read this book: Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons, a loose compilation of essays, travel stories and human interest pieces that (I think) give more insight to the man himself than all his other works.

In trying to wrap my mind around the insanity that is existence and humanity, Vonnegut was the one that taught me that instead of trying to come to terms with it (wrap myself around it)... instead of trying to solve the equation, just sit back and enjoy the statement. The two truths; that my mind is elastic and that existence and humanity are most certainly insane.

He provides a "life's a journey not a destination" cut on existentialism.
His characters always: "wherever you are, there you are"
Able to view the most brutal and asinine conditions in an honest, terrible and humorous light.

One quart of sanity and two quarts of insanity poured into a half gallon jug with no spilling out, like any true genius.
 
2012-12-01 09:45:03 PM  
I wish I weren't an imaginary ant dreaming that he's pushing a nonexistant crumb up a mythical hill. But I am.

Whatever happened, I wonder.
 
2012-12-01 10:18:41 PM  
I would rock the hell out of this assignment.
 
2012-12-02 08:36:38 AM  
That wording of that assignment would piss me off. It's awesome for fiction, but not for giving directions. If it was concise and clear it would read: Read all the short stories in this book, pick your favorite 3 and your least favorite 3, write a paper editing each as if you were an editor.
 
2012-12-02 04:41:17 PM  

Coffee Snob: I farking love Vonnegut.

/so it goes
//he's in Heaven now


By far, my favorite author. This term paper is awesome and I can only wish I had any teacher as awesome as him.
 
2012-12-04 02:27:15 PM  
Good thing I stopped payment on that check!

/Hey Kurt, do you read lips?
 
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