“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”

-Kurt Vonnegut


It’s true! Students can learn THE MEANING OF LIFE in just one course.  Or so hopes MxCC Assistant Professor of English, Adam Floridia, as he again offers a special topics English course (ENG 298) designed to expose life’s all-encompassing truths as contained within Kurt Vonnegut’s novels.

Vonnegut (1922-2007) was one of the more prolific authors and social critics of the second half of the 20th century.  He was a master at humor, sarcasm, simple writing, BIG ideas – and poking holes in many of the grand narratives of American society.

In short, he is an author who can be enjoyed by all readers.

In this course, students will read four of Vonnegut’s best and beloved novels:

  • Mother Night
  • Cat’s Cradle
  • Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Timequake

The class will discuss Vonnegut’s dominant themes, postmodern style, and promotion of humanism.  Professor Floridia believes students will gain a fuller appreciation of Vonnegut and, ultimately, the world around them.

“Vonnegut’s wit and wisdom are as important today as ever, and we should continue to read and celebrate his incredible talent, style and strong ideas about humanism,” explains Professor Floridia. “He really thought about heavy issues such as the ‘meaning of life,’ ‘common decency’ and other shared human traits, and turned those thoughts into exceptional creative works.  This class takes a really close look at his message and his medium.  We are going to have a lot of fun reaching deep into this great writer and relating him to our everyday lives.”

As Vonnegut said: “Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

Register NOW for ENG 298: The Novels of Kurt Vonnegut, which will be held this fall, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 – 10:52 a.m. at the Meriden Center.

Prerequisite: ENG*102 or ENG*110.   This is an “L” course.

More good news!  This course will fulfill any of the following graduation requirements:

  • Humanities Elective
  • Liberal Arts Elective
  • English Elective
  • Open Elective
  • Advanced English Literature Course
  • Designated Written Communication Competency