The moral of the story

In regards to the Vonnegut project, I’ve only managed to scan the pages. One thing that I’ve learned is that it apparently costs money to scan things. It appears that the point of this project is to take a large number of things (too much to read in one go) and turn them into a […]


I feel like every time I write a blog post I end up talking about something my roommates said. I’m sure they will be relieved to know the assignment is over now, so they can stop having to give me ideas on what to write about. As I read “Adam,” I was reminded of what something my roommate that’s an English major said. In one of her classes, she’s studying the books MetaMaus and Maus by Art Spiegelman. Spiegelman, whose parents survived Auschwitz, coins the term holokitsch to describe the manipulative use of Holocaust narratives in pop culture. “There’s a kind of kitschitification in our cultures in general. It’s that thing of trying to always go for the sentimental money shot whenever one can that informs our debates about abortion, informs our presidential races, informs much of our popular culture. It’s all got to be reduced to Good Guys and…

Read more

Holy or Hindrance?

Kurt Vonnegut explores a few themes in his short story “Unready to Wear”: Humanity, progress, and fear rank among the most prevalent. However, he also explores the idea that the human body is holding humanity back, that a consciousness free of flesh would finally be free in the ultimate sense of the word. I think that this sentiment is shared by most major religions. Hinduism considers salvation to be becoming One with deity and losing sense of self, including ones body. Most Christian sects believe that in the after life, humanity will liberated from death and disease by being separated from their bodies, believing that ones body is the root of these pains. This is (as far as I understand) also the case in Islam. Our doctrine differs. We believe that bodies can be consecrated and perfected, and (more importantly) that having a body is an integral part of what…

Read more

Sorry, who are you again?

I really liked Vonnegut’s Who am I this time?. I was really hoping the whole time that those two bland human beings would fall in love with each other. Even though they got married in like a week, I still approve (after all, I live in Provo it’s not unheard of). I have had the […]

Show, Don’t Tell

Every casual writer has heard the advice about avoiding -ly adverbs. The argument comes down to the proverbial rule: “show, don’t tell.” Instead of telling that a character said something sadly, show what they did to portray that they felt sad. Since I had heard about the caution against -ly adverbs, it was interesting to see evidence potentially backing up the rule in Nabokov’s Favorite Word is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing. Blatt measures the use of -ly adverbs in what he determines the literary community considers to be “great books.” He then finds a pretty decent correlation between the lack of adverbs and an author’s more praised works. While his research is very compelling, it raises a lot of questions for me. Most of the books mentioned are at least fifty years old, some even dating back to the 1800s. Do…

Read more