What a rare chance to learn from a master. Kurt Vonnegut, the genius behind Cat’s Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five, and so many more, shaped the landscape of science fiction, literature, and popular culture. This video, a recording of a lecture he gave, is a unique opportunity to listen to Vonnegut discuss the “Shape of Stories”. He talks about the meeting of scientific theory with literary criticism, the rise and fall of characters and stories — but, more than any of it, he delivers humor, irreverence, and a wealth of wisdom.

His signature wit comes through as he speaks about his craft and you can tell that the students are completely spellbound. Whether you’re a huge Vonnegut fan or just passionate about literature, it’s worth listening to this master who crossed genres and boundaries to be truly one of a kind. You can see the whole video here:

Despite a dedication and mastery of his subject, perhaps the most important thing to take away from Kurt Vonnegut is to not take yourself to seriously. “The world is too serious,” he once said. “To get mad at a work of art — because maybe somebody, somewhere is blowing his stack over what I’ve done — is like getting mad at a hot fudge sundae.”