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The Grand Social Experiment | Van Kooten on God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

Rick Van Kooten   Following the bleak nihilism of Cat’s Cradle, the next novel written by Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, presents a more optimistic side of Vonnegut’s philosophy, even as it is presented as a blistering satire as in Cat’s Cradle. In many ways, Vonnegut’s body of work up to this point could be considered not only a literary project …

Becoming Completely Yourself | Elmer on Mother Night

Jonathan Elmer   Howard W. Campbell Jr. is a playwright and a spy. What is the relation between the two? At the level of narrative, the relation is as intimate as can be. When Frank Wirtanen approaches Campbell about spying for the Americans, he indicates that he fixed on Campbell because of the “medieval romances” he writes: “you love pure …