In the 1970s, it seemed as if most literate, well-informed Americans who read books could agree that Kurt Vonnegut was probably the most important American author since Mark Twain. Vonnegut, when you think about it, was really the last author who nearly everybody who read books, read. You could gauge his popularity when I was a kid by looking at all the copies of his novels on offer at garage sales. Jethro Tull, Allman Brothers and Cheech and Chong albums along with dog-eared copies of Jaws, The Godfather, The Exorcist and one, if not several, Vonnegut paperbacks were jumble sale staples of the late 1970s. Despite the fact that Kurt Vonnegut himself seems to think that writers were over the hill at the age 55, this never seemed the case to me where his writing was concerned and I was always excited to sit down with a new book from him. Watching this video I started to wonder who would replace Vonnegut as he himself took over from Mark Twain to a great extent. No one I can see on the horizon, I’m afraid.
Vonnegut is seen here giving a speech in 2002 at Albion College, where he received an honorary doctorate. The lecture’s title is How to Get Job Like Mine.
Click through to YouTube for the rest of the speech.
Bonus: Fox News did an entirely disrespectful obit of Vonnegut the day after he died. Something tells me the author would have found this screamingly funny.
Via Fishbowl LA