Kurt Vonnegut's "Shapes of Stories" as an infographic poster


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But… I would say that the gospels fit that narrative structure, with Iesus incrementally teaching, rioting at the temple, getting executed/tortured to death, and coming back from death, but it’s only in certain forms of Christianity that the whole world history is supposed to fit that narrative structure.

I’m not aware of any forms where the resurrection has less than cosmic significance. Or did you mean to say there are all kinds of different ideas about the second coming? That’s definitely true.

Also, I take issue with his analysis of Hamlet, which has an unambiguously bad ending, unless one is Fortinbras, and he doesn’t even get any good lines until A Wrinkle in Time.

I kinda feel like the fancy graphic design drains all the humor out of these charts. Vonnegut’s originals are hand-drawn with a marker, and what made me spew my drink through my nose when I first saw it was that he had all the traditional stories up front, then The Metamorphosis immediately after a page turn, so it just hits you in the face. (I would add that his graph starts low and goes sharply downward, as opposed to the gentle descent shown here.)


… and there are different ideas about the past and present.

I think the designer of the poster misinterpreted the plot arc of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. The very first scene of the movie is at the very -end- of the story. When Jim Carey’s character is crying in the car and throwing out the cassette tape, this is occurring -after- the scene at the very end of the movie when the two principal characters get back together again. It doesn’t work out, all over again.

I don’t remember the scene in question but I agree the poster designer definitely missed the point on that one.

If I recall the point of the movie was a critique of the manic pixie dream girl. Things start out amazing but inevitably fall apart. Carey’s character should have learned from the painful experience but instead erases it and becomes doomed to repeat his mistakes over and over again.

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