“I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.” -- Kurt Vonnegut
In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published 14 novels, 3 short story collections, 5 plays, and 5 works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel Slaughterhouse-Five.
Vonnegut always claimed that it was by reading other great writers that he himself developed the writing style and ideas that led to his success. Among the most influential on his writing, he said, were George Orwell, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry David Thoreau and H.G. Wells.
A journalist first, Vonnegut often credited journalistic writing as another key to his style – one that made his writing both straightforward and understandable by a wide audience.
“One of the things that I tell beginning writers is this: If you describe a landscape, or a cityscape, or a seascape, always be sure to put a human figure somewhere in the scene. Why? Because readers are human beings, mostly interested in human beings,” he said. “People are humanists … most of them, anyway.”
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