Salient points [#1] – Vonnegut’s mode, like a Martian visiting Earth

This is the first of an occasional spotlight on words (and sometimes pictures or sounds) that have proven intriguing and/or inspirational to varying levels of intensity (at times very small and/or fleeting, at times very big and/or lasting) to my writing of fiction. Perhaps think of this as the start of a periodically compiled, endless compendium of potentially useful snippets for a Martian visiting Earth…

I’m like a Martian visiting Earth. (Kurt Vonnegut)

Of course Mr Vonnegut was not being literal. Please see, study, savour the clip below. It should start automatically at the relevant moment (33:38).

If you watch for nearly one whole minute, that is all, you will hear the charming and good-humoured Kurt Vonnegut speaking about an objective distance – an outlier attitude that he held through his novel writing.

Also of interest, to me at least, is what he says about ‘culture’ and, more so, what he says about getting beyond culture…

King Kurt discussing some of his formative years in a classic 1983 documentary, culled from the Horizon series (BBC).

P.s. If you have time, please do watch the entire documentary. The Horizon series of docs, shown periodically on the BBC throughout my life to date, has been one of consistent quality. I have watched many of the programmes since around the time that this particular film was first broadcast (1983, in the UK).

But don’t just take it from me… the archetypal Martian visiting Earth, Mr V himself, was apparently a fan of this very documentary – a telling fact that gives the film its most important seal of approval.


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