I would hesitate to divulge the original size of my ego, if I thought my readers hadn't sensed it long ago.
In a college notebook that I filled in 1989 when I was a 20-year-old English major at Kent State University (and living at Sunrise Apartments). I was preparing to become a writer—writing about becoming one—and I predicted (forgive me, Fitzgerald) that I probably wouldn't feel satisfied if I became the next Kurt Vonnegut, the next Ernest Hemingway or even the next William Shakespeare.
Yes, my notebook really does say that. Someday you'll be able to look at that it at the Smithsonian, but you'll have to wear special white cotton gloves.
And now I'm reading the new biograhy of Kurt Vonnegut, and I am finding out that though Vonnegut was a "reliably funny" guy, he wasn't happy or even all that pleasant, and his children considered the great humanist a distant and even scary presence. (Though you'd be scary too if you had seven kids tearing around the house while you were trying to write Slaughterhouse Five.)
Anyway, this new information surprisingly returns to me the courage of my youthful conviction, that no, I would not be satisfied to be the next Kurt Vonnegut, because the the last one didn't even like the job.
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