Quotations Weblog

Who is Kilgore Trout?

September 14th, 2006 by Michael Moncur in Site News
The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.
Kilgore Trout, (Philip Jose Farmer), “Venus on the Half Shell”

About once a month, someone attempts to correct us on the quotation above. Kilgore Trout, as they know, is a fictional character that appears in several of Kurt Vonnegut’s works, so they assume we’ve mistakenly attributed the quotation to Philip Jose Farmer.

As it turns out, our attribution is correct: While Kurt Vonnegut invented the fictional Kilgore Trout, and also invented his fictional novel Venus on the Half Shell, a real novel was later published with the same title, by an author using the pseudonym Kilgore Trout, who turned out to be Philip Jose Farmer. I’m not certain whether Vonnegut gave permission for the use of the title, but he disapproved of the final result.

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