Absolute Vonnegut! : Forum : Vonnegut's Rank Among American..


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Vonnegut's Rank Among American Authors?

12 Years Ago


Where do you think that Kurt Vonnegut ranks among American storytellers? A lot of people compare him to Twain. Would you put him above or below Mr. Clemens? Also, who would be above them, if anyone?
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[no subject]

12 Years Ago


I recently went to wikipedia and searched for the Nobel Prize in Literature. The list of American writers (Isaac Bashevis Singer, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, T. S. Eliot, etc..) who have received this award over the last 106 years include some [obviously] amazing authors. That being said, I couldn't help but think, "pfft...if some of these guys managed to get a Nobel Prize, where in the hell is Kurt's?"

Maybe it has something to do with Swedes having short dicks but long memories.
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[no subject]

12 Years Ago


I'm not sure about the value of trying to rank artists. I know I prefer reading Vonnegut over Twain. I would say that both of them, as well as Henry Miller, Alice Walker, Theodore Roethke, Edward Abbey, Walt Whitman, William Faulkner and a hundred others are indispensible "American" authors.
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[no subject]

12 Years Ago


I think as far as Satire Authors go, he's number 2, behind Chuck Palahniuk.

It's hard to say among all American authors, because different people like different things.
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[no subject]

12 Years Ago


Silvey, Silvey, Silvey...
You know probably better than anyone that I love Chuck Palahniuk and his books are very enjoyable. But as far as putting an impact on satire or literature as a while Palahniuk doesn't even belong in the same thought as Vonnegut.

I think he belongs very high on the list but not at the very top.
I'm a huge Vonnget fan and respect him with my whole being but at least Hemingway and maybe Steinbeck still belong above him in my opinion.
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[no subject]

12 Years Ago


And on the subject of Twain.
(Who does look very similar to Vonnegut).

I personally would rather read Vonnegut.
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[no subject]

12 Years Ago


Like I say, different people like different things. Some people might say "Black" is the best book ever written, while I say "Fight Club" is. I don't think anyone can make a sure rank for authors.
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[no subject]

12 Years Ago


One criticism of both Palahniuk and Vonnegut that I have is that they both have distinct voices, but several of their protagonists have the "same" voice. Like, you get the same vibe from the narrator in "Invisible Monsters" that you get in "Fight Club" or "Choke" sometimes, so it can be very disconcerting.

Vonnegut, too, for all of his outstanding lit., did have similar-sounding characters. My suggestion of rank was not literal. Not an argument of semantics, in other words. I only wanted to maybe get a discussion about American authors going, since I feel that American Literature gets the shaft overall. People are condescending without necessity.

Hemingway, I feel, deserves to be up there. Steinbeck as well. TS Eliot, EA Poe, Faulkner, in no real order.

Of newer authors, I would say that Cormac McCarthy is the most 'literary' of them. I could go on, though.

Point is, Vonnegut was a great artist/satirist, and his legacy hopefully will grow over the years, since that many people still consider him a "cult" author.