Kurt Vonnegut's Crusade; or, How a Postmodern Harlequin Preached a New Kind of Humanism

Kurt Vonnegut's Crusade; or, How a Postmodern Harlequin Preached a New Kind of Humanism

by Todd F. Davis
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0791466760

ISBN-13: 9780791466766

Pub. Date: 01/01/2008

Publisher: State University of New York Press

“I’ve worried some about why write books when presidents and senators and generals do not read them, and the university experience taught me a very good reason: you catch people before they become generals and senators and presidents, and you poison their minds with humanity. Encourage them to make a better world.” — Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt

Overview

“I’ve worried some about why write books when presidents and senators and generals do not read them, and the university experience taught me a very good reason: you catch people before they become generals and senators and presidents, and you poison their minds with humanity. Encourage them to make a better world.” — Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut’s desire to save the planet from environmental and military destruction, to enact change by telling stories that both critique and embrace humanity, sets him apart from many of the postmodern authors who rose to prominence during the 1960s and 1970s. This new look at Vonnegut’s oeuvre examines his insistence that writing is an “act of good citizenship or an attempt, at any rate, to be a good citizen.” By exploring the moral and philosophical underpinnings of Vonnegut’s work, Todd F. Davis demonstrates that, over the course of his long career, Vonnegut has created a new kind of humanism that not only bridges the modern and postmodern, but also offers hope for the power and possibilities of story. Davis highlights the ways Vonnegut deconstructs and demystifies the “grand narratives” of American culture while offering provisional narratives—petites histoires—that may serve as tools for daily living.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791466766
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
01/01/2008
Series:
SUNY series in Postmodern Culture Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Postmodern (Midwestern) Morality: The Act of Affirming Humanity in a Screwed-up World     1
Searching for Answers in the Early Novels: Or, What Are We Here for Anyway?     37
Apocalyptic Grumbling: Postmodern Righteousness in the Late Novels     83
Notes     139
Works Cited     155
Index     163

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