Fates Worse Than Death - Study Guide Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

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A unicorn, it is said, will lay its head in a maiden's lap if she sits in a forest clearing. In the Vonnegut household, Sister Alice (now departed and missed) is the maiden to Father's unicorn. Father is desperate for uncritical female friendship because his wife, late at night, spills on him hatred as corrosive as hydrofluoric acid. Her untreated, unacknowledged insanity comes from alcohol and prescribed barbiturates. Vonnegut accepts that it is hereditary but is happy to have no American ancestors afflicted. He talks about this in an address to the American Psychiatric Association in Philadelphia in 1988, quoted here. Dr. Nancy Andreassen has found that professional writers tend to be depressive or come from depressive families more often than in the general public. Vonnegut holds that one cannot write serious fiction un-depressed, replacing the theory that only alcoholics can win Nobel prizes, made obsolete...

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This section contains 582 words
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