Vonnegut on Tarkington

At LiveJournal yesterday, Magical Truthsaying Bastard reported on Kurt Vonnegut’s final book, Armageddon in Retrospect: And Other New and Unpublished Writings on War and Peace.  In “a speech he would have given if he had not died sixteen days before the scheduled date, a speech titled, “At Clowes Hall, Indianapolis, April 27, 2007,” MTB quotes Vonnegut:

I would not be standing before you tonight if it hadn’t been for the example of the life and works of Booth Tarkington, a native of this city. During his time, 1869 to 1946, which overlapped my own time for twenty-four years, Booth Tarkington became a beautifully successful and respected writer of plays, novels, and short stories. His nickname in the literary world, one I would give anything to have, was “The Gentleman from Indiana.”

When I was a kid, I wanted to be like him.

We never met. I wouldn’t have known what to say. I would have been gaga with hero worship.

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