Friday, December 23, 2011
On the affinity between Vonnegut and Dick (from a FB comment)
I've always felt a weird affinity between Vonnegut and Dick. Both are literary writers who happened to write a little SF, and who therefore got unjustly pigeonholed as SF writers. Dick was hugely inspired by Vonnegut's first book "Player Piano," while Vonnegut's Kilgore Trout character seems like a clear homage to the legend of Philip K. Dick: bleak and obscure but brilliant SF writer toiling in obscurity writing stories with brilliant concepts but terrible prose. Their writing styles and subject matter are very different, although both put a rare emphasis on compassion which I very much appreciate in my literary fiction. Did I ever tell you the story from college of when I was walking through the music stacks of the UCD library and found a PKD and KV book sitting together on the shelf? I thought it was a weird synchronicity since I had just read a ton of KV+PKD over the past year.