Fates Worse Than Death - Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

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In "The Kilimanjaro Device," the great fiction writer Ray Bradbury has a magic Jeep driving near Ketchum, Idaho, come upon Ernest Hemingway and offer him a better alternative to blowing his head off. He dies glamorously in an airplane crash into 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro. In Bradbury country, Vonnegut's suicide might be successful, meaning that he is dead and observing things that might otherwise have been. He might have written the following essay for the New York Times in 1990. It observes that American humorists/satirists grow intolerably unfunny pessimists past a certain age. This is confirmed in William Keough's Punchlines. Twain stops laughing, denounces life on this planet and dies - even before World War I or nuclear weapons. Jokes work by hooking and releasing the listener, causing the release of fight-or-flight chemicals through laughter. On a campus tour in 1989, Vonnegut talks about challenges...

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This section contains 840 words
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