An Animated Kurt Vonnegut Visits NYU, Riffs, Rambles, and Blows the Kids’ Minds (1970)

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.

Look­ing for free, pro­fes­sion­al­ly-read audio books from For exam­ple, John Malkovich read­ing Break­fast of Cham­pi­ons? Or James Fran­co read­ing Slaugh­ter­house-FiveHere’s a great, no-strings-attached deal. If you start a 30 day free tri­al with, you can down­load two free audio books of your choice. Get more details on the offer here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Kurt Von­negut Dia­grams the Shape of All Sto­ries in a Master’s The­sis Reject­ed by U. Chica­go

Hear Kurt Von­negut Read Slaughterhouse-Five,Cat’s Cra­dle & Oth­er Nov­els

Kurt Von­negut Cre­ates a Report Card for His Nov­els, Rank­ing Them From A+ to D

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.