Vonnegut on Trout
The Colonial Dames removed George Washington's false teeth from the
museum at Mount Vernon several years ago. You have now surpased those ladies
in Nice-Nellyism with your bowdlerization of Venus on the Half Shell,
by Kilgore Trout.
You have corrected his spelling and sytax, divided his work into
paragraphs, and tinkered with the story itself to make it everywhere
comprehensible. You have cheated your readers of the exhilarating opportunity
to guess what the author was trying to say as opposed to what he really did
Trout, incidentally, submitted in person a story to G-8 and His
Battle Aces back in 1934, and the editor captured the bitter-sweet quality
of all of Trout's masterpieces when he exclaimed admiringly, "My God, if you
could only write!"
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Dear Mr. Ferman:
Mr. Vonnegut is wrong to critisize you because you fixed up my
speling & grammer. He ought to know that lots of editors do this for there
writers. Look at Jack London, he was rotten in speling and sintaxbut he was a
hell of a good writer, he'l be red as long as Mr. Vonnegut is, which I don't
think will be long, since the world is coming to an end pretty soon. About
fifty years id Mr. Coustoux and deepsea diver is right. And a good thing too,
As for boodlerizing my story, I say bulshit. Mr. Vonnegut hisself
wrote that one spesificaly erotic novel, which was The Son of Jimmy
I'm going to reveal one thing here I never told nobody before.
Vonnegut got his stile from me, he studied it then polished it up a bit. Evan
after you fixed up Venus anybody with sense can see the similerity.
Anyway, the editors wont have to work hard corecting my stuff from
now. My good friend Jonathen Herovit has promiced me he'll go over my stuff
for speling & grammer before I submit it. In fact, he corected this letter
before I maled it off to you.
- Kilgore Trout