We are what we pretend to be: the first and last works

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Grouped Work ID 18bf4662-39d2-3464-3e0f-0f410c5dab6c
full_title we are what we pretend to be the first and last works
author vonnegut kurt
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-05-27 06:13:44AM

Solr Details

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author Vonnegut, Kurt
author-letter Vonnegut, Kurt
author_additional Kurt Vonnegut.
author_display Vonnegut, Kurt
availability_toggle_catalog Available Now, Available Online, Entire Collection
available_at_catalog Athens Drive Community, Cameron Village Regional, Southeast Regional
callnumber-a PS3572.O5
callnumber-first P - Language and Literature
callnumber-subject PS - American Literature
callnumber_sort_catalog VONNEGUT
collection_catalog Adult Fiction
date_added 2012-09-19T04:00:00Z
days_since_added 1711
detailed_location_catalog Athens Drive Community - Adult Fiction, Cameron Village Regional - Adult Fiction, Remote Storage - Adult Fiction, Southeast Regional - Adult Fiction, West Regional - Adult Fiction

Called "our finest black-humorist" by The Atlantic Monthly, Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Now his first and last works come together for the first time in print, in a collection aptly titled after his famous phrase, We Are What We Pretend To Be.
Written to be sold under the pseudonym of "Mark Harvey," Basic Training was never published in Vonnegut's lifetime. It appears to have been written in the late 1940s and is therefore Vonnegut's first ever novella. It is a bitter, profoundly disenchanted story that satirizes the military, authoritarianism, gender relationships, parenthood and most of the assumed mid-century myths of the family. Haley Brandon, the adolescent protagonist, comes to the farm of his relative, the old crazy who insists upon being called The General, to learn to be a straight-shooting American. Haley's only means of survival will lead him to unflagging defiance of the General's deranged (but oh so American, oh so military) values. This story and its thirtyish author were no friends of the milieu to which the slick magazines' advertisers were pitching their products.
When Vonnegut passed away in 2007, he left his last novel unfinished. Entitled If God Were Alive Today, this last work is a brutal satire on societal ignorance and carefree denial of the world's major problems. Protagonist Gil Berman is a middle-aged college lecturer and self-declared stand-up comedian who enjoys cracking jokes in front of a college audience while societal dependence on fossil fuels has led to the apocalypse. Described by Vonnegut as, "the stand-up comedian on Doomsday," Gil is a character formed from Vonnegut's own rich experiences living in a reality Vonnegut himself considered inevitable.

Along with the two works of fiction, Vonnegut's daughter, Nanette shares reminiscences about her father and commentary on these two works—both exclusive to this edition.

In this fiction collection, published in print for the first time, exist Vonnegut's grand themes: trust no one, trust nothing; and the only constants are absurdity and resignation, which themselves cannot protect us from the void but might divert.
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physical xiii, 161 pages ; 22 cm
popularity 6
primary_isbn 9781593157432
publishDate 2012
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publisher Vanguard Press, Vanguard Press,
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subject_facet College teachers -- Fiction, Farm life -- Fiction
table_of_contents Basic training -- If God were alive today.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title We are what we pretend to be : the first and last works
title_display We are what we pretend to be : the first and last works
title_full We Are What We Pretend to Be The First and Last Works, We are what we pretend to be : the first and last works / Kurt Vonnegut
title_short We are what we pretend to be :
title_sort we are what we pretend to be the first and last works
title_sub the first and last works
topic College teachers Fiction, Farm life Fiction, Fiction, Literature
topic_facet College teachers, Farm life, Fiction, Literature