The Shape of Our Stories: By Vonnegut

Well this is just charming. Apparently Kurt Vonnegut, brilliant writer and social commentator extraordinaire, had a theory that all stories could be graphed on a basic happy/sad scale, and that the shapes these stories created said something about our culture.


Kurt Vonnegut - The Shapes of Stories

That’s the very pleasant chart version, with more info at this link.

(And do watch the video. Vonnegut seems like a very lovable professor, maybe a bit dusty, but the audience is having a ball and is just eating it all up. It almost sounds like someone had a heavy hand on a laugh track.)

Someone with a deeper knowledge of Vonnegut than me should really go chart Vonnegut’s stories in this way and see what “shape” they make. I feel like “Slaughterhouse-5” may have some twists and turns to it, though “Breakfast of Champions” might be kinda flat.

What do you think? Does this “graphic” interpretation make sense?

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Filed under Reading, writing

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