Tag Archives: Indiana writers

A Vonnegut “Note to Self.”

vonnegutJanuary 25, 1994

My experiences at Cornell were freakish in the extreme, as have been most of those which followed, mostly accidents. So the advice I give myself at the age of 71 is the best advice I could have given myself in 1940, when detraining for the first time at Ithaca, having come all the way from Indianapolis: “Keep your hat on. We may wind up miles from here.”


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Vonnegut on Writing Fiction.

vonnegutMay 18, 1996

If you want to write fiction then you must be patient, for you need experiences, and those take time to accumulate. Unfortunately, television offers the illusion of experiences writers need to come by the hard way, in courtrooms, on ships, in hospitals, whatever.

I say go for truths, very personal ones, not likely to be learned from TV sets. We need to know what those are.

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Vonnegut’s Secrets.

vonnegutOctober 30, 1974:
The secret of good writing is caring.

May 18, 1996:
The secret of universality is provincialism. …
Literary masterpieces since the birth of the novel and short story have all been obsessed with narrow societies…about which most readers cannot be expected to know much. They’ll learn, those readers will. A writer is first and foremost a teacher.

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