Since the publication of his first short stories in the 1950s, Kurt Vonnegut has enjoyed much popular acclaim and has, since the 1970s, gained growing amounts of attention from the scholarly community. In the course of his career, he has become increasingly concerned with visual images. While such imagery occurs in his short fiction and novels, he has also written plays, in which ideas are visually represented on the stage. In recent years, he has devoted more and more of his time and energy to graphic art, producing paintings that are then silk screened. The contributors to this volume look at the visual images created by Vonnegut in his literary art, along with the images and representations of his thought that increasingly are being brought to life in other media.
Much of Vonnegut's present significance, his talents as a mythmaker, and his impulse toward visual imagery were anticipated by Leslie Fiedler in The Divine Stupidity of Kurt Vonnegut, published in the September 1970 issue of Esquire. That essay is reprinted here as a prescient introduction to the volume. The essays that follow look at comic elements in Vonnegut's science fiction, the representation of authors in his works, and the translation of his writings into film. The book also examines Vonnegut's graphic art and includes photos of several of his works.