Intellectual Self Defence

Brains are delicate things…

Vonnegut great? You better blivit…

Kurt Vonnegut has coined the term blivit for his own combination of incommensurables: an ‘all-frequencies assault on the sensibilities’ made of ‘fiction, drama, history, biography and journalism.’ A blivit, writes Vonnegut, can be defined as ‘two pounds of shit in a one pound bag.’ Somewhere in the bag, Vonnegut records his own great-grandfather’s belief that truth ‘must always be recognized as the paramount requisite of human society’. Vonnegut comments: ‘As I myself said in another place, I began to have my doubts about truth after it was dropped on Hiroshima.’
John Hartley Regimes of Truth and the Politics of Reading: A Blivit Cultural Studies Vol 1 No 1


3 comments on “Vonnegut great? You better blivit…

  1. briangottesman
    April 9, 2012

    Great Quote by Vonnegut: ‘As I myself said in another place, I began to have my doubts about truth after it was dropped on Hiroshima.’
    As someone very interested in the Middle East I absolutely love that quote. I think I’ll put it as one of my favorites on Facebook.
    Anyways, I wrote a really short post about how “Slaughter House V” changed my perception of the Holocaust.

    • dwighttowers
      April 9, 2012

      Hey Brian,

      I liked the post you mentioned –

      I think it was Plato who said you’d have to kill everyone over the age of 6 if you were going to build the perfect society. The Nazis, who certainly had every intention of winning the war (and came bloody close to doing so) would have killed even more than they did. “Fatherland” by Robert Harris is a pretty competent ‘alternative history’ – I recommend. Have you read Vonnegut’s “Mother Night”?


      • briangottesman
        April 9, 2012

        I have not read that Vonnegut book. I have gone through “Slaughter House V”, “Slapstick”, and “Breakfast of Champions”. I would like to read “Cat’s Cradle” as my next Vonnegut book since so many people recommended it to me. I am currently reading “Das Kapital” by Marx, and then I have a book on Violent Revolutions of the past.
        If you haven’t read “Das Kapital” yet I suggest reading the one condensed by Serge L. Levitsky. It is easier, and more interesting than the original, and I could tell you I’m really enjoying it, and I am a non-Marxist American.
        “Fatherland” sounds interesting.

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This entry was posted on January 21, 2011 by in Propaganda System, and tagged , .
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