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The Clown of Armageddon - The Novels of Kurt Vonnegut

English, German · Hardback

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The unique career of Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), America s first major writer to have begun his career in the paperback industry, spanned more than half a century and made him the representative post-World War II American writer (Morse). Between Player Piano (1952), his prophetic depiction of tyranny by computer in the form of a more conventional dystopian novel, and Timequake (1997), his story of a book that refused to be written, in a previously unheard-of mixture of fiction and autobiography, Vonnegut published fourteen highly accomplished novels, at least one of which, his daringly innovative breakthrough novel Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), has become a widely admired modern classic. This study opens with an account of Vonnegut s development from a neglected hack writer to an international celebrity and a brief history of the controversial reception given to a novelist whose inimitable technique combines a willfully naïve style that appeals to less sophisticated readers and cutting-edge experiments that fascinate connoisseurs of metafictional experimentation. It then devotes a self-contained chapter to all of his fourteen novels, tracing their reception by critics and reviewers, explaining how each one is related to the others by recurring characters and settings as well as by the themes and motifs that haunt Vonnegut s fictional cosmos, and combining all textual aspects and the findings of previous Vonnegut scholarship into a close reading of each novel as an accomplished piece of literary art in its own right. Providing the most detailed reading of Kurt Vonnegut s novels yet published, this study confirms his status as one of the outstanding representatives of post-World War II American fiction.

Summary

The unique career of Kurt Vonnegut (1922 - 2007), America's first major writer to have begun his career in the paperback industry, spanned more than half a century and made him "the representative post-World War II American writer" (Morse). Between 'Player Piano' (1952), his prophetic depiction of tyranny by computer in the form of a more conventional dystopian novel, and 'Timequake' (1997), his story of a book that refused to be written, in a previously unheard-of mixture of fiction and autobiography, Vonnegut published fourteen highly accomplished novels, at least one of which, his daringly innovative 'breakthrough novel' 'Slaughterhouse-Five' (1969), has become a widely admired modern classic.
This study opens with an account of Vonnegut's development from a neglected hack writer to an international celebrity and a brief history of the controversial reception given to a novelist whose inimitable technique combines a willfully naïve style that appeals to less sophisticated readers and cutting-edge experiments that fascinate connoisseurs of metafictional experimentation. It then devotes a self-contained chapter to all of his fourteen novels, tracing their reception by critics and reviewers, explaining how each one is related to the others by recurring characters and settings as well as by the themes and motifs that haunt Vonnegut's fictional cosmos, and combining all textual aspects and the findings of previous Vonnegut scholarship into a close reading of each novel as an accomplished piece of literary art in its own right.
Providing the most detailed reading of Kurt Vonnegut's novels yet published, this study confirms his status as one of the outstanding representatives of post-World War II American fiction.

Product details

Authors Peter Freese
Publisher Universitätsverlag Winter
 
Languages English, German
Product format Hardback
Released 01.01.2009
 
EAN 9783825355517
ISBN 978-3-8253-5551-7
No. of pages 769
Dimensions 142 mm x 218 mm x 48 mm
Weight 996 g
Series American Studies / A Monograph Series
American Studies
American Studies / A Monograph Series
Subjects Humanities, art, music > Linguistics and literary studies > English linguistics / literary studies

Rezeption, Amerikanische Literatur, Vonnegut, Kurt, Einleitung

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