Masters Thesis Rejected Because It Looked Too ‘Fun’

Kurt Vonnegut - The Shapes of StoriesIn an interview from Open Culture* Kurt Vonnegut in his autobiography Palm Sunday tells how his master’s thesis in anthropology for the University of Chicago “was rejected because it was so simple and looked like too much fun.”

The elegant simplicity and playfulness of Vonnegut’s idea is exactly its enduring appeal. The idea is so simple, in fact, that Vonnegut sums the whole thing up in one elegant sentence: “The fundamental idea is that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper, and that the shape of a given society’s stories is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads.”

Kurt Vonnegut went on to become one of the great American writers of the second half of the 20th century – See more here.

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