Kurt Vonnegut died on April 11th at 84. The prolific novelist and short story writer, beloved by readers of all ages, leaves an enormous hole in American literature. I’ve been reading his obits on this Sunday morn, and taking a moment to appreciate him for his wonderful deadpan humor, his unflinching honesty and his astonishing skill as a writer. Here’s an excerpt from his latest book, an autobiography called ‘A Man without a Country’, that is the best statement about making art I’ve ever heard.
…The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.