Sunday, 14 November 2010

Look at the Birdie Receives Praise

Look at the Birdie, a collection of fourteen short stories by Vonnegut, have received praise from TheAustralian.com’s Stephen Romei. The collection, which was published in Australia earlier this month, contains stories written by Vonnegut in the 1950s, which weren’t published in his lifetime. Romei compares Look at the Birdie to other posthumous works, such as Nabokov’s The Original of Laura and proposes that while readers often feel apprehensive when approaching new works from deceased authors, “such fears are quickly dispelled in Look at the Birdie.”

Romei provides synopses of several of the stories including in Look at the Birdie, and readers interested in exploring more of the book may like to check out the full version of Look at the Birdie over at the LA Times website. While the short story collection has only just been published in Australia, it's been available in the US since October 2009, and in the UK since September 2010.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Vonnegutt Discuss Author’s Influence

Vonnegutt, a band which combine “classic emcee skills coupled with evolving lyrics…pop sensibility (and) a dose of rock dynamics” have recently discussed their Kurt-influenced name with Jelani Sims. Frontman Kyle Lucas has explained that Vonnegut is his favourite author, although as the group formed in 2007 (the year Vonnegut passed away), their chosen name quickly drew criticism from some quarters. As Lucas explained, ‘Vonnegutt’ was chosen as a way of honouring the writer, “but people blew it out of proportion”.

Vonnegutt aren’t the first group of musicians to express their interest in Vonnegut's literature. On Whirlwind Heat’s album, Flamingo Honey, there’s a track titled ‘Ice-Nine’, after the chemical in Cat's Cradle. Wilco has also paid tribute to the author, in April 2007, by commemorating Vonnegut on their website. Vonnegut has also been directly involved with music – composing a requiem which was first performed in New York, as well as appearing on Simon Heselev’s ‘Tock Tick’, which features the author reading a section from Slaughterhouse Five.