Kurt Vonnegut never graduated from college, but that didn’t stop him from visiting college classrooms, or from giving commencement speeches (nine of which were published last year in a volume called If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice to the Young). If you’ve experienced a Vonnegut speech, you know he had a tendency to riff and ramble. But he also entertained and educated. Above, the latest video from Blank on Blank captures the essence of a Vonnegut classroom visit, animating a talk the author gave to a class at NYU on November 8, 1970. Topics include: the paranoia that goes into writing and the exhaustion it brings about, his childhood in Indiana, the death of his parents, and his odd concept for a new short story called “The Big Space Fuc%,” which features a warhead filled with sperm. It leaves the kids a little stunned.
The full talk originally aired on WBAI 99.5 FM New York and now resides in the Pacifica Radio Archives. You can listen to the full, unedited tape below.
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