Humanity is technological by definition. From flint-made tools to the smartphone, humans have always been drawn to invent and discover. But you never hear about technology in old writings.
This rubbed Kurt Vonnegut the wrong way. The American writer and humorist believed that literature, especially novels, should include all aspects of life as we know it, not just events unfolding page by page.
I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex.
And he was right. Victorian literature was idealistic, describing difficult upbringings and happy endings through perseverance, hard work, and love. Authors like Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy wrote works that centered around moral lessons, which make for a good read but don’t always endure the test of time.
We typically associate technology with computers, cars, and planes, and such. But the steam engine is just as much of a technological achievement as all of them. Hence, the importance to have written accounts about technology – to help our brains better pinpoint where and when the action is taking place.
Vonnegut had a career in writing spanning more than five decades. He published a total of 14 novels, five plays, five non-fiction books, and three short story collections. His most famous work is Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), a novel described as darkly satirical.