Are there things a novelist shouldn't joke about?
An interview with Kurt Vonnegut
Nov 24, 1976 by Harry James Cargas
This article appeared in the Christian Century on November 24, 1976.Novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. first gained a following on American college campuses as a cult figure for young readers who identified with his comic and pessimistic view of the world. In recent years a wider audience has come to know his books—Player Piano; Cat’s Cradle; Slaughterhouse-Five; Sirens of Titan; Mother Night; God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; Breakfast of Champions; and others.
Vonnegut was an American delegate to the last International P.E.N. Congress when that association of writers met in Vienna, Austria. He addressed the meeting, as did Harry James Cargas, an author and member of the English department at Webster College in St. Louis. At the close of the weeklong session, Cargas interviewed Vonnegut.
Cargas: Let me begin by rather brazenly asking if, in your opinion, everything is a fit subject for humor.
This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.