This podcast and newsletter will always be free, but it’s also how I buy groceries. So if you dig the show, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. I’m here to talk about why I named my podcast Kurt Vonnegut Radio. And why Kurt Vonnegut is the best writer to read on July 4th. I also want to talk about the America that Kurt Vonnegut loves. Which sounds kind of crazy, doesn’t it, loving America? I mean, honestly, can a sane person even love America in 2023?
Ok. I’m reading Vonnegut. (Coming up he seemed so exclusively masculine, I avoided him. School reading was already mostly that already.) loved this podcast!
Vonnegut is one of my literary heroes too, and such a good name for a podcast!
I've read Slaughterhouse Five, it might be time to give it another read. I love the fact that you change your name to your substack so easily, considering I've thought about a name change for my own 'stack but haven't done it.
Lovely tribute to my favorite author. I was hooked when I first read Slapstick...who knows how many years ago. One piece of advice from Mother Night that stuck with me, "...we must be careful who we pretend to be."
Love this episode, Gabe. And hooray for changing the title, haha. Even if it is temporary, it's an obvious upgrade.
Breakfast Of Champions was also my first encounter with Vonnegut and I was instantly blown away. It upended my entire concept of what a story could be. You're telling me I'm going to read this book, most of which is going to be just waiting for these two characters to meet, and I'm going to be on the edge of my seat the whole time? Yeah, sure. And yet I was. And for a book to be so, so funny? I couldn't believe it. He's such a huge influence for me.
You mentioned the fact that he often sounds like he's speaking from beyond the grave, as in the opening "truth bomb" rich pages of BoC, and I really like that. I've described it similarly to people -- he sounds like the last human talking to an advanced alien race, trying his best to explain how our petty, violent, cheap, self-defeating, self-deluding and selfish acts make any sense at all. And of course, there is no adequate explanation. But the act of explaining ourselves, of writing it down, makes for hilarious satire that stands in stark relief against the real truth of what it means, or what it could mean, to be alive.
I reconnected with a high school friend recently -- told me they looked up Vonnegut in the phone book back in college and had a nice long chat with him. That was about six months ago when I heard that and I'm still very jealous.
Loved it so much, I recorded it to my phone. Thank you, Prof Hudson.
Gabe-- Wish we could chat again. Not sure why I'm commenting here, as I know I won't receive a text, an email, a call, or a response this time. Your work mattered greatly, as did you personally. I'll miss you. So much.
It’s embarrassing for someone who’s not aware of Kurt Vonnegut! I think it’s a great name for a radio show. This is my third listen since coming across this Stack. One thing I winder is you’re still with Instagram but you’re not on Twitter? How come when insta has got dubious ownership and what they do with users’ data… twitter well at this point in time it’s changed name and goes downhill. Regardless, this was another great piece with informative author trivia of someone I’ve not cone across.