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Kurt Vonnegut’s Master’s Thesis Rejected by University of Chicago

Vonnegut: Theory in Few Words

“The ability to express an idea clearly and simply is a mark of genius.” (Me.)

A Short Story

“Vonnegut was a graduate student in Anthropology  [at the University of Chicago] from 1945 to 1947, after serving in World War II. Vonnegut left Chicago after his Master’s thesis, “’The Fluctuations Between Good and Evil in Simple Tasks,”’ was rejected.” Unanimously. (University of Chicago Chronicle.)

“The apathy of the University o Chicago is repulsive to me. They can go take a flying fuck at the moooooooooooooooon.” (Vonnegut, Palm Sunday, p 288.)

The Shapes of Stories

“Vonnegut sums up his theory on stories in one elegant sentence: ‘“The fundamental idea is that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper, and that the shape of a given society’s stories is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads.”’

“‘His work turns a suspicious eye on overcomplicated posturing and champions unsentimental, Midwestern directness. Vonnegut’s short, trade publication essay, “How to Write With Style,” is as succinct and practical a statement on the subject in existence. One will encounter no more a ruthlessly efficient list than his “Eight Rules for Writing Fiction.”'(Open Culture.)

"So it Goes," Drawings by Kurt Vonnegut

“So it Goes,” Drawings by Kurt Vonnegut

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