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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 …

Follow the Money | Sandweiss on God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

Eric Sandweiss   “A sum of money,” Vonnegut’s narrator alerts us, will be “a leading character” in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, the novelist’s 1965 tale of the hazard of old fortunes (1). Like his creator, Eliot Rosewater—the holy fool who fills that lead role in a more conventional sense—is also struck by money’s personal charisma. Mr. Rosewater, a science …

Reading Mother Night in Russia(n) | Phillips on Mother Night

Sarah Phillips   Kurt Vonnegut was the most popular American writer in the Soviet Union in the 1970s,1 and it will not surprise Vonnegut fans to learn that he predicted his own success. In Mother Night (1961), the protagonist Howard W. Campbell, Jr. provides a fictional account of one Stepan Bodovskov’s (plagiaristic) literary success in Russia, in particular the success …