“So It Goes” and Kurt Vonnegut 1922 November 11th

Vonnegut.class.GaWy4

Kurt Vonnegut, born on 1922 November 11th, whose dark comic talent and urgent moral vision in novels like “Slaughterhouse-Five,” “Cat’s Cradle” and “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater” caught the temper of his times and the imagination of a generation.  He was known, but not famous, when he took a two-year teaching position at the University of Iowa.  The Writers’ Workshop would become known and so would Vonnegut.

The house on the Iowa campus (see above) would become a lighthouse for student writers and those who sought to teach them.  Among his rules for writers, Kurt Vonnegut counseled: “Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.”

Vonnegut’s honesty, his willingness to scoff at assumed wisdom, is such that reading his work for the first time gives one the notion that everything else is rank hypocrisy. His opinion of human nature was dubious, and that low opinion applied to his heroes and his villains alike — he was continually disappointed in humanity and in himself, and he gave voice to that disappointment in a mixture of black humor and great despair. He could easily have become an old nutter, but he was too smart; he could have become a foolish clown, but there was something tender in his nature that he could never quite suppress; he could have become irrelevant, but even at his most despairing he had an endless willingness to entertain his readers.

Vonnegut’s tenure at the University of Iowa 1965 to 1967 was a wonderful time for the young writers on the Iowa City campus.  Also, it was a smashing time for rock music with multiple influences of the mid-1960’s being played on the radio.  Our playlist of songs from 1965 in tribute to Kurt Vonnegut at Iowa City (along with his quotes) is as follows:

Ferry Cross the Mersey – Stereo; 1997 Remaster
Gerry & The Pacemakers

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” —A Man Without A Country

I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie)     Stop! In The Name Of Love – Single Version
     Four Tops                                                        The Supremes

My Girl                                              Help Me, Rhonda – Remastered
      The Temptations                                          The Beach Boys

Tired of Waiting for You
The Kinks

“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: ‘The only proof he needed for the existence of God was music.’” —A Man Without A Country

Mr. Tambourine Man
The Byrds

Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag                      The Game Of Love
   James Brown & The Famous Flames                  Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders

Jolly Green Giant                       Seventh Son
      The Kingsmen                               Johnny Rivers

There is no order in the world around us, we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead.” —Breakfast of Champions

Like a Rolling Stone
Bob Dylan

For Your Love              You’ve Got Your Troubles
The Yardbirds                         The Fortunes

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.”

Laugh Laugh
The Beau Brummels

She’s About A Mover – Re-recorded 1968          Shake
     Sir Douglas Quintet                                               Sam Cooke

Nowhere To Run – Single                              Love Potion Number Nine – Stereo Version
       Martha Reeves & The Vandellas                         The Searchers

 “And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”———-A Man Without a Country

Hang On Sloopy
The McCoys

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place – UK Single              I Go to Pieces
        The Animals                                                                           Peter And Gordon

The Last Time – Mono                                  The Boy from New York City
       The Rolling Stones                                              The Ad Libs

Vonnegut.house.GaWy_650x400

HIS BIG VICTORIAN HOUSE NOT FAR FROM CAMPUS WAS THE PLACE FOR WIDE SPECTRUM OF PEOPLE TO GATHER, TALK, AND SOCIALIZE.

I Like it Like That – 2019 – Remaster
The Dave Clark Five

Keep Searchin’ (We’ll Follow the Sun)         How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
         Del Shannon                                                               Marvin Gaye

Treat Her Right                                                       Shotgun
         Roy Head & The Traits                                            Jr. Walker & The All Stars

Science is magic that works.” —Cats Cradle

Do You Believe in Magic?
The Lovin’ Spoonful

Ticket To Ride – Remastered 2009                  Silhouettes
          The Beatles                                                             Herman’s Hermits

You Turn Me On                         The Birds And The Bees
          Ian Whitcomb                                        Jewel Akens

“That is my principal objection to life, I think: It’s too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.”  —Deadeye Dick

I’ll Never Find Another You
          The Seekers

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – Single           The Tracks Of My Tears – Single
        The Righteous Brothers                                          Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

THE NUMBER ONE HIT SONG IN 1965 DID NOT CHART IN THE TOP SPOT ON A WEEKLY BASIS THOUGH IT DID ACHIEVE THE TOP SPOT ON THE BILLBOARD ANNUAL CHARTS.  THERE IS A SIMILARITY PRIMARY UNIQUENESS WITH THE VERY SPECIAL AUTHOR …KURT VONNEGUT. And So It Goes….

Wooly Bully
             Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs

 

 

8 thoughts on ““So It Goes” and Kurt Vonnegut 1922 November 11th

  1. I didn’t realize he was born on Nov 11. In the preface to Breakfast of Champions he has a very moving passage on the sacredness of Armistice Day.

    Thanks again!

    http://www.jimhalewriting.com

    On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 8:49 PM Doggedly Yours… Howling, Humor, and History. wrote:

    > Gavin & Wyatt posted: ” Kurt Vonnegut, born on 1922 November 11th, whose > dark comic talent and urgent moral vision in novels like > “Slaughterhouse-Five,” “Cat’s Cradle” and “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater” > caught the temper of his times and the imagination of a generation. He > was” >

    Liked by 2 people

  2. …something tender in his nature that he could never quite suppress; That really killed me. You’re so modest after writing to me, not saying you too wrote about him, and it’s an amazing homage, much more than mine was. I love the photo at the top, and it just confirmed why I have such a thing for him. He was a very special man across the board, and my only regret, on his behalf, is, that he wasn’t happier at the end of his life. Lonely, disgruntled, and I’m betting, a little sad…and so it goes.

    I really loved this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. He once explained his elder grumpy nature as never wanting to get old. He joked that he had been disappointed that smoking cigarettes had not killed him at an early age. He seemed to retain some humor despite his grumpiness.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He is such an inspiration to me, just how he kept writing no matter how he felt. His isolation he couldn’t step out of. Wish I could have been at the memorial they gave him at the Algonquin that seemed so fitting. Bet it was touching and funny.

        Liked by 1 person

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