Kurt Vonnegut carved out a special niche in American literature — fanciful, profound, imaginative, with a spirit infused with a love of fellow man and a mischievous sense of humor. In this video, the Vonnegut personality is on full display as he draws the shapes of stories. It’s hard to explain, which is why it’s so great it’s on YouTube:

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Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.


5 Thoughts on "Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories — A Charming, Logical, and Whimsical Lesson"

I was fortunate enough to see Vonnegut speak live at my university campus (UT Austin) and part of his talk was this lecture.

Unfortunately, the video leaves out the best part.

After showing the graphs of the stories in the video, he then goes on to plot Hamlet, which is more or less a flat line from left to right.

His point was that great literature (like life) is ambiguous.

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