Friday, 8 August 2008

The Infinite Mind in Second Life with Kurt Vonnegut (an interview)

Kurt Vonnegut, who died in April 2007 was one of the best American writers of the second half of the 20th century. His playful, light prose overlay thoughtful themes and ideas that were relevant for people's lives then and now. For instance, Vonnegut's explores "pretence" in a variety of ways in his short stories. His view of pretence was also articulated in his novel Mother Night "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."

I spent several hours during my week in Turkey reading Vonnegut's stories and they played on my mind for some time afterwards. Surprisingly, Vonnegut, a self-confessed Luddite, who only used computers as word processors and who did not carry a mobile phone, gave one of his last interviews on Second Life. Perhaps this is not so surprising as Vonnegut has written several works of science fiction so his willingness to experiment was always there. Kurt's comments on the importance of following an art around 24-26 minutes in are very interesting. However, the interview as a whole is suffused with Vonnegut's humour, wisdom and wit.

If you've never read Vonnegut before try any of his short stories or the novels, Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse 5 or Breakfast of Champions.

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About Me

I teach Film, Media and English Lit.