‘Nothing means anything — except the artist makes his living by pretending – by putting it in a meaningful hole – though no such holes exist’.
On November 8, 1970 — three days before his forty-eight birthday and shortly after his play Happy Birthday Wanda June opened in New York — Vonnegut showed up at an NYU classroom as a guest lecturer with a handful of handwritten talking points.
In the fifty meandering minutes that followed the beloved author opened up about his life and his writing with unparalleled candor – discussing his mother’s mental illness – being raised by his African American nanny Ida – what it takes to be a writer and the ultimate task of the artist.
The talk was recorded and broadcast on New York’s WBAI public radio station and has been preserved by the Pacifica Radio Archives.
Forty-five years later the wonderful folks of Blank on Blank have brought an excerpt of it to life in one of their signature animations.