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Player Piano

by Kurt Vonnegut

eBook

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Player Piano (1952), Vonnegut's first novel, embeds and foreshadows themes which are to be parsed and dramatized by academians for centuries to come. His future society—a marginal extrapolation, Vonnegut wrote, of the situation he observed as an employee of General Electric in which machines were replacing people increasingly and without any regard for their fate—is mechanistic and cruel, indifferent to human consequence, almost in a state of merriment as human wreckage accumulates. Paul Proteus, the novel's protagonist, is an engineer at Ilium Works and first observes with horror and then struggles to reverse the displacement of human labor by machines.

Ilium Works and Paul's struggles are a deliberately cartoon version of labor's historic and escalating struggle to give dignity and purpose to workers. The novel embodies all of Vonenegut's concerns and what he takes to be the great dilemma of the technologically overpowered century: the spiritual needs of the population in no way serve the economies of technology and post-technology. Vonnegut overlies this grotesque comedy over tragedy, disguising his novel in the trappings of goofiness.

Not published—at Vonnegut's insistence—as science fiction, the novel was nonetheless recognized and praised by the science fiction community which understood it far better than a more general readership, a dilemma which Vonnegut resentfully faced throughout his career. Bernard Wolfe's dystopian Limbo and Player Pianowere published in the same year to roughly similar receptions; two "outsiders" had apotheosized technophobia as forcefully as any writer within the field. Throughout his career, Vonnegut was forced to struggle with his ambivalence about science fiction and his own equivocal relationship with its readers.


Expand title description text
Publisher: RosettaBooks

Kindle Book

  • Release date: January 29, 2002

OverDrive Read

  • ISBN: 9780795311970
  • Release date: January 29, 2002

EPUB eBook

  • ISBN: 9780795311970
  • File size: 2008 KB
  • Release date: January 29, 2002

PDF eBook

  • ISBN: 9780795302527
  • File size: 12849 KB
  • Release date: January 29, 2002

0 of 1 copy available

Formats

Kindle Book
OverDrive Read
EPUB eBook
PDF eBook

Languages

English

Levels

Player Piano (1952), Vonnegut's first novel, embeds and foreshadows themes which are to be parsed and dramatized by academians for centuries to come. His future society—a marginal extrapolation, Vonnegut wrote, of the situation he observed as an employee of General Electric in which machines were replacing people increasingly and without any regard for their fate—is mechanistic and cruel, indifferent to human consequence, almost in a state of merriment as human wreckage accumulates. Paul Proteus, the novel's protagonist, is an engineer at Ilium Works and first observes with horror and then struggles to reverse the displacement of human labor by machines.

Ilium Works and Paul's struggles are a deliberately cartoon version of labor's historic and escalating struggle to give dignity and purpose to workers. The novel embodies all of Vonenegut's concerns and what he takes to be the great dilemma of the technologically overpowered century: the spiritual needs of the population in no way serve the economies of technology and post-technology. Vonnegut overlies this grotesque comedy over tragedy, disguising his novel in the trappings of goofiness.

Not published—at Vonnegut's insistence—as science fiction, the novel was nonetheless recognized and praised by the science fiction community which understood it far better than a more general readership, a dilemma which Vonnegut resentfully faced throughout his career. Bernard Wolfe's dystopian Limbo and Player Pianowere published in the same year to roughly similar receptions; two "outsiders" had apotheosized technophobia as forcefully as any writer within the field. Throughout his career, Vonnegut was forced to struggle with his ambivalence about science fiction and his own equivocal relationship with its readers.


Expand title description text
  • Details

    Publisher:
    RosettaBooks

    Kindle Book
    Release date: January 29, 2002

    OverDrive Read
    ISBN: 9780795311970
    Release date: January 29, 2002

    EPUB eBook
    ISBN: 9780795311970
    File size: 2008 KB
    Release date: January 29, 2002

    PDF eBook
    ISBN: 9780795302527
    File size: 12849 KB
    Release date: January 29, 2002

  • Creators
  • Formats
    Kindle Book
    OverDrive Read
    EPUB eBook
    PDF eBook
  • Languages
    English
  • Levels