New Critical Essays on Kurt Vonnegut

New Critical Essays on Kurt Vonnegut

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Description

Kurt Vonnegut's darkly comic work became a symbol for the counterculture of a generation. From his debut novel, Player Piano (1951) through seminal 1960's novels such as Cat's Cradle (1963) and Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) up to the recent success of A Man Without A Country (2005), Vonnegut's writing has remained commercially popular, offering a satirical yet optimistic outlook on modern life. Though many fellow writers admired Vonnegut - Gore Vidal famously suggesting that "Kurt was never dull" - the academic establishment has tended to retain a degree of scepticism concerning the validity of his work. This dynamic collection aims to re-evaluate Vonnegut's position as an integral part of the American post-war cannon of literature.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 233 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 18.29mm | 467g
  • Basingstoke, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2009 ed.
  • XV, 233 p.
  • 0230616275
  • 9780230616271

Table of contents

Introduction: Flabbergasted; T.Davis PART I: VONNEGUT'S LITERATURE 'No damn cat, and no damn cradle' : The Fundamental Flaws in Fundamentalism According to Vonnegut; P.L.Thomas Mother Night; P.Tew The Journey Home in Kurt Vonnegut's World War II Novels; E.Abele 'God damn it, you've got to be kind': War and Altruism in the Works of Kurt Vonnegut; R.McCoppin Resilience, Time and the Ability of Humor to Salvage any Situation: Bagombo Snuff Box; J.Lingel Apocalypse in the Optative Mood: Galapagos , or, Starting Over; R.Tally Art, Sentiment, and Vonnegut's Women; S.E.Farrell God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut: Tall Tales for the Final Years; M.Hemmingson PART II: OTHER WRITERS AND VONNEGUT Vonnegut and Hemmingway; L.Broer Reassessing Vonnegut and His Position in the Countercultural Canon; D.Simmons Vonnegut's Satire and Contemporary British Writers: Jonathan Coe, Will Self; N.Allen Vonnegut and Contemporary Apocalyptic Fiction; C.Glover
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Review Text

'Together the essays stand as an introduction to rereading Vonnegut, demonstrating that his canon may be worth re-examining. Secret lovers of Vonnegut (and sci-fi) will use this book to defend their affections for an artist whose pop fame and pop forms dismay some critics. And one can almost imagine Vonnegut's crooked smile at essays that seek to reserve a place in high-toned literary debates for his works.' - Choice

'This collection offers a timely re-engagement with one of the most enigmatic, deceptive, and misunderstood of American authors . . .Through a comprehensive interrogation of Vonnegut's early and late novels, his short stories, and his relationship to predecessors such as Hemingway and his 'post-9/11 heirs' such as Cormac McCarthy, Don DeLillo, and Ian McEwan, the contributing scholars establish beyond question the continuing relevance and necessity of reading Vonnegut.' - Will Kaufman, Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of Central Lancashire and author of The Comedian as Confidence Man

'Whether describing the uniquely warm personal relationship many literary critics shared with Vonnegut (Todd Davis), exploring the evolution of a feminist vision in his work (Susan E. Farrell), bringing fresh insights into the function of science fiction elements in his novels (Lorna Jowett), or detailing Vonnegut's ambiguous but important relationship to other writers such as Hemingway (Lawrence Broer), these one dozen essays offer convincing arguments that Vonnegut should, and will, remain a canonical American writer - at least until we humans manage to destroy the world.' - William Rodney Allen, author of Understanding Kurt Vonnegut

'With considerations of Vonnegut's exploded narrative structures, revelatory views on the importance of his feminine characters, explorations of both religious and apocalyptic themes, and measuring his novelty and subtexts against literary giants and his influence on new novelists, these essays speak to the essential questions Vonnegut establishes for a world rent asunder by man's inclinations to do evil in the name of goodness.' - Mark Leeds, editor of The Vonnegut Encyclopedia
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Review quote

'Together the essays stand as an introduction to rereading Vonnegut, demonstrating that his canon may be worth re-examining. Secret lovers of Vonnegut (and sci-fi) will use this book to defend their affections for an artist whose pop fame and pop forms dismay some critics. And one can almost imagine Vonnegut's crooked smile at essays that seek to reserve a place in high-toned literary debates for his works.' - Choice



'This collection offers a timely re-engagement with one of the most enigmatic, deceptive, and misunderstood of American authors . . .Through a comprehensive interrogation of Vonnegut's early and late novels, his short stories, and his relationship to predecessors such as Hemingway and his 'post-9/11 heirs' such as Cormac McCarthy, Don DeLillo, and Ian McEwan, the contributing scholars establish beyond question the continuing relevance and necessity of reading Vonnegut.' - Will Kaufman, Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of Central Lancashire and author of The Comedian as Confidence Man



'Whether describing the uniquely warm personal relationship many literary critics shared with Vonnegut (Todd Davis), exploring the evolution of a feminist vision in his work (Susan E. Farrell), bringing fresh insights into the function of science fiction elements in his novels (Lorna Jowett), or detailing Vonnegut's ambiguous but important relationship to other writers such as Hemingway (Lawrence Broer), these one dozen essays offer convincing arguments that Vonnegut should, and will, remain a canonical American writer - at least until we humans manage to destroy the world.' - William Rodney Allen, author of Understanding Kurt Vonnegut



'With considerations of Vonnegut's exploded narrative structures, revelatory views on the importance of his feminine characters, explorations of both religious and apocalyptic themes, and measuring his novelty and subtexts against literary giants and his influence on new novelists, these essays speak to the essential questions Vonnegut establishes for a world rent asunder by man's inclinations to do evil in the name of goodness.' - Mark Leeds, editor of The Vonnegut Encyclopedia
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About D. Simmons

David Simmons is Senior Lecturer in English and Screen Studies at the University of Northampton, UK.
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Rating details

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3 50% (4)
2 12% (1)
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