Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons
Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons (Opinions) is a rare opportunity to experience Kurt Vonnegut speaking in his own voice about his own life, his views of the world, his writing, and the writing of others. An indignant, outrageous, witty, deeply felt collection of reviews, essays, and speeches, this is a window not only into Vonnegut’s mind but also into his heart.
"Well - it would be a drab world without meaningless social aggregations. There would be a lot fewer smiles, and about one-hundredth as many publications."
"Earthlings who have felt that the Creator clearly wanted this or that have almost always been pigheaded and cruel. You bet."
"Kids don't learn nice manners in high school anymore. If they met a person who was in favor of building a device w...more
give it a shot. you get some idea of vonnegut, the man, where he came from, what his obsessions include, what he ignores and so you wonder why...he had a sheepdog named sandy. sandy sounds like an interesting dog. he took a trip down the inter-coastal waterway aboard a yacht owned by joe kennedy...the trip consumed 1,522 gallons of gasoline and elsewhere vonnegut worries about the planet, all we're consuming. and so on.
interesting tale about biafra...he went there w/van...more
I wanted to have a better concept of Vonnegut’s personality in preparation for reading Kurt Vonnegut’s biography “And So It Goes.” I thought a book of non-fiction by KV would be appropriate so I revisited this after nearly 40 years since my first reading. I remembered virtually nothing from my original read. My intent was to read a chapter now and then and to alternate with several books of short stories and non-fiction I’ve been reading. After a...more
"Wampetery, foma i granfalony" to przede wszystkim zbiór tekstów pisanych do czasopism i przemówień. Zdarzają się też tu recenzje książek, a także jedno opowiadanie. Długość tekstów jest różna, niektóre mieszczą się na dwóch stronach, najdłuższy tekst ma stron czt...more
Foma--Harmless, comforting untruths, e.g., "Prosperity is just around the corner."
Granfalloons--A proud and meaningless association of human beings, e.g., The Veterans of Future Wars.
Taken together, the words form as good an umbrella as any for this collection of essays, book reviews and speeches written over the years by Vonnegut. This review will contain a lot of excerpts, because I can thin...more
On the whole, not a good book: inconsistent, often dated, occasionally incoherent. But the good stuff—his essay on Biafra, the abovementioned column, the Play...more
On religion, it suffices to read one page. Morality? “We don’t need bigger brains. We don’t need more information. All that is required is that we become less selfish than we are.” (166) Spirituality? “The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy: To teach the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to console the sad, to reprove the sinner, to forgive the offender, to bear with the...more
Collected incidental prose from one of America's wise men. Vonnegut gives his take on a variety of topics- Biafra, the South, politics, commonsensical subversion from a man who had truly seen it all.
I think that one of the regrettable things about living in the modern moment is that people seem to ape his hard, sarcastic, yet chillingly blase and snickering style as the true voice of experience: "Hi ho, So It Goes, etc" though Vonnegut seemed to be one of those people who were really and truly...more
Specifically, Vietnam, but also a heartbreaking piece on Biafra, which existed "for three Christmases and a little more"; a country that most of my generation have probably never heard of. Vonnegut also writes about the Cape Cod mutilations of 1968-69 - for which I could only find one passing reference on the web. (Most of the Biafra links on the Web...more
On America, Vonnegut says:
"And her dad (Nixon) would say in an acceptance speech that night among other things, 'We covet no one else's territory. We seek no dominion over any other people. We seek peace not only for ourselves but for all the peoples in the world.' This was what he had said on Russian t...more
Whereas his novels have diverse intricate morals, Wampeters, Foma, and Granfalloons often gives the reader the opportunity to read exactly what was ravaging Vonnegut's opinion. The most personal event comes in his report of the doom in Biafra. Writing with the intimate conviction that is abs...more
The Playboy interview makes him seem completely insane.
I knew I needed to explore Vonnegut from a non fiction point of view and I didn't believe it was possible for him to be even more perfect.
He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journali...more