Authors Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph (Joe) Heller are at a party, in a mansion, surrounded by billions in net worth. They’re hanging out, possibly feeling out of place, or maybe just taking it all in with a laugh.
I would have liked to be a fly on that wall!
I came across this anecdote by Kurt Vonnegut via a friend, and couldn’t resist sharing.
As Kurt Vonnegut relates, Heller makes an extremely incisive point about different kinds of wealth: there is the kind we can accumulate and touch and see, and the other, which comes from a much deeper, more gratifying place.
Sometimes enough is just … enough. This is the goal, isn’t it?
And because he’s Kurt Vonnegut, he tells his tale with precisely the kind of humour and verve we’d expect.
Happy Birthday (November 11), Kurt Vonnegut!
“True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer, now dead, and I were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island.
I said, ‘Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel Catch-22 has earned in its entire history?’
And Joe said, ‘I’ve got something he can never have.’
And I said, ‘What on earth could that be, Joe?’
And Joe said, ‘The knowledge that I’ve got enough.’
Not bad! Rest in peace!”
Please find the source of this quote, and more great stuff about Kurt Vonnegut here.
How to Write a Short Story:
On the Shapes of Stories:
With Joseph Heller, on War:
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Author: Tammy T. Stone
Editor: Catherine Monkman