Unready to Wear (The Galaxy Project)
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Vonnegut sold two stories to Horace Gold, the editor of GALAXY magazine, early in his and the magazine’s career; this characteristic absurd employment of common themes was the first of them, published in the April 1953 GALAXY. Vonnegut’s absolute familiarity with science fiction tropes and his mocking contempt for them are well displayed in a story which shifts between tragic cartoon and straightforward projection. His highly evolved humans in an indeterminate future have become body-transcending spirits and Vonnegut handles this vaporous situation with deadpan comedy suspended over unspeakable loss, a characteristic technique. In its fluidity--the story is parody masked as extrapolation; no, it is a horror story in the form of a parody. This kind of cross-category narrative attack was often used by Vonnegut and makes him difficult to label; he is too serious to be funny, too absurd (as in jailbreak or as in the concept of Billy Pilgrim’s alien Tralmalfadorians) to be taken as realism. Vonnegut when he wrote this story at 30 was still trying to find his voice, identify his material; as a laboratory of his enveloping subject matter and technique UNREADY TO WEAR is particularly interesting and disturbing, demonstrating that Vonnegut could have gone in any number of directions and perhaps by deliberately failing to make a decision, found his voice through indeterminacy. It is as a poet of indeterminacy then that Vonnegut went on to write his most famous novel, SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE.
Published: RosettaBooks on
ISBN: 9780795321832
List price: $2.99
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