100+ Kurt Vonnegut Quotes that makes him a Prominent Writer

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Kurt Vonnegut saying

Kurt Vonnegut Quotes that makes him a prominent writer. There are so many Kurt Vonnegut quotes that can help you when you are tired of being in the same old rut, and all you need is a little push, a little inspiration, a smile on the face, change of mood, bring you out of the banality of life, make you laugh a little, or may even make you cry a bit, and these Kurt Vonnegut quotes exists just do that.

Kurt Vonnegut, one of America’s prominent writers, was born on11th November 1922 in Indiana, U S. In his fifty years career he has written almost fourteen novels, three short stories, five plays and five works that are non-fiction. Even after his death many of his works were published. Vonnegut was born and brought up in Indiana where he joined the Cornell University.

After dropping out from Cornell in 1943, Vonnegut joined the United States Army. He was trained as a mechanical engineer as part of the military at Carnegie Institute of Technology and the University of Tennessee. He has proved himself a great soldier in World War II, but during the Battle of the Bulge, he was seized by the Germans. He was imprisoned in a meat locker at a slaughterhouse during the time of the bombing of Dresden. Since he was at the meat locker, he survived the attack. When the war phase came to an end, he married Jane Marie Cox.

Vonnegut and Jane had three children, and when his sister died of cancer, he adopted her four children also. After proving himself a soldier in the War, he then turned into writing.  Even though his first novel “Player Piano” cannot be called a commercial success, he didn’t stop there. He continued his passion for writing with a positive attitude and published his next work in 1963, which was the Cat’s Cradle. In 1964 he published his next work God Bless you and Mr Rosewater. Three of them were barely successful.

The breakthrough in Vonnegut career was his sixth novel Slaughterhouse-five. It was during the Vietnam War it was published, and the sense of anti-war in the novel evoked the readers, and hence he was welcomed with a positive attitude. After his success, he was invited to give speeches, lectures and commencement address. After his first breakthrough, he wrote a series of short stories which was also welcomed by his readers. His short story collection includes “Fates worse than death” and “A man without a country”. This eminent writer stepped onto heaven on 11 April 2007. After his death, he was regarded as one of the most important contemporary writers of the age.

We have dug up these Kurt Vonnegut quotes from the depths of the internet and brought together best of these sayings in a single article. This post is probably the biggest database of Kurt Vonnegut Sayings in a single place. These famous Kurt Vonnegut quotes have the power to change your life by giving a novel outlook about the way you observe different aspects of your life. Hence, these popular Kurt Vonnegut quotes should be read with caution and proper understanding of the context. Here are tons of Kurt Vonnegut quotes that will open a treasure chest of Wisdom and experiences: –

“In the water I am beautiful.”

Kurt Vonnegut Famous Quotes

“Symbols can be so beautiful, sometimes.”

Kurt Vonnegut best Quotes (4)

“Pretend to be good always and even God will be fooled.”

Kurt Vonnegut Popular Quotes (2)

“Nothing in this book is true.”

Kurt Vonnegut Quotes (5)

“Sometimes I wonder about the Creator of the Universe.”

Kurt Vonnegut saying

“I think, therefore I am, therefore I am photographable.”

“He had supposed for years that he had no secrets from himself. Here was proof that he had a great big secret somewhere inside, and he could not imagine what it was.”

“I’m odd, I know,’ he said. ‘It’s fear of myself that’s made me odd.”

“I have been a writer since 1949. I am self-taught. I have no theories about writing that might help others. When I write, I simply become what I seemingly must become. I am six feet two and weigh nearly two hundred pounds and am badly coordinated, except when I swim. All that borrowed meat does the writing.
In the water I am beautiful. ”

“I now believe that the only way in which Americans can rise above their ordinariness, can mature sufficiently to rescue themselves and to help rescue their planet, is through enthusiastic intimacy with works of their own imagination.”

“You are better than you think. A-one, a-two a-three.”

“My advice to writers just starting out? Don’t use semi-colons! They are transvestite hermaphrodites, representing exactly nothing. All they do is suggest you might have gone to college.”

“I think about my education sometimes. I went to the University of Chicago for awhile after the Second World War. I was a student in the Department of Anthropology. At that time they were teaching that there was absolutely no difference between anybody.

They may be teaching that still.

Another thing they taught was that no one was ridiculous or bad or disgusting. Shortly before my father died, he said to me, ‘You know – you never wrote a story with a villain in it.’

I told him that was one of the things I learned in college after the war.”

“If what Billy Pilgrim learned from the Tralfamadorians is true, that we will all live forever, no matter how dead we may sometimes seem to be, I am not overjoyed. Still–if I am going to spend eternity visiting this moment and that, I’m grateful that so many of those moments are nice.”

“She upset Billy simply by being his mother. She made him feel embarrassed and ungrateful and weak because she had gone to so much trouble to give him life, and to keep that life going, and Billy didn’t really like life at all.”

“I found me a place where I can do good without doing any harm, and I can see I’m doing good, and them I’m doing good for know I’m doing it, and they love me, Unk, as best they can. I found me a home.”

“What is my definition of jazz? ‘Safe sex of the highest order.”

“There is nothing left of him but curiosity and a pair of eyes.”

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.”

“There is no WHY, since the moment simply is, and since all of us are simply trapped in the moment, like bugs in Amber.”

“A book is an arrangement of twenty-six phonetic symbols, ten numerals, and about eight punctuation marks, and people can cast their eyes over these and envision the eruption of Mount Vesuvius or the Battle of Waterloo.”

“Love is where you find it. I think it is foolish to go looking for it, and I think it can often be poisonous.”

“One might be led to suspect that there were all sorts of things going on in the Universe which he or she did not thoroughly understand.”

“I love you, because the love you gave me was the only love I’ve ever had, the only love I ever will have”

“Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future.”

“You think I’m insane?” said Finnerty. Apparently he wanted more of a reaction than Paul had given him.
“You’re still in touch. I guess that’s the test.”
“Barely — barely.”
“A psychiatrist could help. There’s a good man in Albany.”
Finnerty shook his head. “He’d pull me back into the center, and I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” He nodded, “Big, undreamed-of things — the people on the edge see them first.”

“You know — we’ve had to imagine the war here, and we have imagined that it was being fought by aging men like ourselves. We had forgotten that wars were fought by babies. When I saw those freshly shaved faces, it was a shock. “‘My God, my God — ‘ I said to myself, ‘It’s the Children’s Crusade.”

“He ate a pear. It was a hard one. It fought back against his grinding teeth. It snapped in juicy protest.”

“Ideas on earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enimity.”

“He did not think of himself as a writer for the simple reason that the world had never allowed him to think of himself in this way.”

“When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in the particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is “So it goes.”

“She broke my heart. I didn’t like that much. But that was the price. In this world, you get what you pay for.”

“Perhaps some people really are born unhappy. I surely hope not. Speaking for my sister and myself: We were born with the capacity and determination to be utterly happy all the time. Perhaps even in this we were freaks. Hi ho.”

“If you actually are an educated, thinking person, you will not be welcome in Washington, D.C. I know a couple of bright seventh graders who would not be welcome in Washington D.C.”

“The planet was being destroyed by manufacturing processes, and what was being manufactured was lousy, by and large.”

“It is a tragedy, perhaps, that human beings can get so much energy and enthusiasm from hate. If you want to feel ten feet tall and as though you could run a hundred miles without stopping, hate beats pure cocaine any day. Hitler resurrected a beaten, bankrupt, half-starved nation with hatred and nothing more. Imagine that.”

“No damn cat, and no damn cradle.”

“There is room enough for an awful lot of people to be right about things and still not agree.”

“Any form of government, not just Capitalism, is whatever people who have all our money, drunk or sober, sane or insane, decide to do today.”

“Perhaps I am the turtle, able to live simply anywhere, even underwater for short periods, with my home on my back.”

“The Great Depression was going on, so that the station and the streets teemed with homeless people, just as they do today. The newspapers were full of stories of worker layoffs and farm foreclosures and bank failures, just as they are today. All that has changed, in my opinion, is that, thanks to television, we can hide a Great Depression. We may even be hiding a Third World War.”

“See the cat? See the cradle?”

“Talent is extremely common. What is rare is the willingness to endure the life of the writer.”

“Indianapolis, Indiana is the first place in the United States of America where a white man was hanged for the murder of an Indian. The kind of people who’ll hang a white man for murdering an Indian–that’s the kind of people for me.”

“Electronic communities build nothing. You wind up with nothing. We are dancing animals.

How beautiful it is to get up and go out and do something. We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.”

“There are plenty of good reasons for fighting,’ I said, ‘but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. Where’s evil? It’s that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It’s that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive.”

“How nice—to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.”

“Here’s what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.”

“He was a graduate of West Point, which is military academy that turns young men into homicidal maniacs for use in war.”

“The more pain I train myself to stand, the more I learn. You are afraid of pain now, Unk, but you won’t learn anything if you don’t invite the pain. And the more you learn, the gladder you will be to stand the pain.”

“Tis better to have love and lust
Than to let our apparatus rust.”

“Oh, God — the lives people try to lead.
Oh, God — what a world they try to lead them in.”

“I could carve a better man out of a banana.”

“There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, I said, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too.”

“I love you, Eliza,” I said.
She thought about it. “No,” she said at last, “I don’t like it.”
“Why not?” I said.
“It’s as though you were pointing a gun at my head,” she said. “It’s just a way of getting somebody to say something they probably don’t mean. What else can I say, or anybody say, but, ‘I love you, too’?”

“There is a riddle about a man who is locked in a room with nothing but a bed and a calendar, and the question is: How does he survive?

The answer is: He eats dates from the calendar and drinks from the springs of the bed.”

“Our government’s got a war on drugs. That’s certainly better then no drugs at all.”

“So I went to New York City to be born again. It was and remains easy for most Americans to go somewhere else and start anew. I wasn’t like my parents. I didn’t have any supposedly sacred piece of land or shoals of friends to leave behind. Nowhere has the number zero been of more philisophical value than in the United States…. and when the [train] plunged into a tunnel under New York City, with it’s lining of pipes and wires, I was out of the womb and into the birth canal.”

“After the thing went off, after it was a sure thing that America could wipe out a city with just one bomb, a scientist turned to Father and said, ‘Science has now known sin.’ And do you know what Father said? He said, ‘What is sin?”
? Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

“Some automatic device clicked in her big brain, and her knees felt weak, and there was a chilly feeling in her stomach. She was in love with this man.

They don’t make memories like that anymore”

“Take care of the people, and god almighty will take care of himself.”

“I realize that some of you may have come in hopes of hearing tips on how to
become a professional writer. I say to you, “If you really want to hurt your
parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can
do is go into the arts. But do not use semicolons. They are transvestite
hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve
been to college.”

“Most kids can’t afford to go to Harvard to be misinformed.”

“We went to the New York World’s Fair, saw what the past had been like, according to the Ford Motor Car Company and Walt Disney, saw what the future would be like, according to General Motors. And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.”

“A pissant is somebody who thinks he’s so damn smart, he can never keep his mouth shut. No matter what anybody says, he’s got to argue with it. You say you like something, and, by God, he’ll tell you why you’re wrong to like it. A pissant does his best to make you feel like a boob all the time. No matter what you say, he knows better.”

“In real life as in grand opera, arias only make hopeless situations worse.”

“I chose cultural anthropology, since it offered the greatest opportunity to write high-minded balderdash.”

“Society is more concerned with material possessions than it is with the true love and compassion of another human being.”

“Swoopers write a story quickly, higgledy-piggledy, crinkum-crankum, any which way. Then they go over it again painstakingly, fixing everything that is just plain awful or doesn’t work. Bashers go one sentence at a time, getting it exactly right before they go on to the next one. When they’re done they’re done.”

“I love you sons of bitches. You’re all I read any more. You’re the only ones who’ll talk all about the really terrific changes going on, the only ones crazy enough to know that life is a space voyage, and not a short one, either, but one that’ll last for billions of years. You’re the only ones with guts enough to really care about the future, who really notice what machines do to us, what wars do to us, what cities do to us, what big, simple ideas do to us, what tremendous misunderstanding, mistakes, accidents, catastrophes do to us. You’re the only ones zany enough to agonize over time and distance without limit, over mysteries that will never die, over the fact that we are right now determining whether the space voyage for the next billion years or so is going to be Heaven or Hell.”

“The book was Maniacs in the Fourth Dimension, by Kilgore Trout. It was about people whose mental diseases couldn’t be treated because the causes of the diseases were all in the fourth dimension, and three-dimensional Earthling doctors couldn’t see those causes at all, or even imagine them.”

“There isn’t any particular relationship between the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.”

“Vietnam was a country where America was trying to make people stop being communists by dropping things on them from airplanes.”

“Belief is nearly the whole of the universe whether based on truth or not.”

“The New York Daily News suggested that my biggest war crime was not killing myself like a gentleman. Presumably Hitler was a gentleman.”

“It is never a mistake to say good-bye.”

“Maturity, the way I understand it, is knowing what your limitations are.”

“Music is, to me, proof of the existence of God. It is so extraordinarily full of magic, and in tough times of my life I can listen to music and it makes such a difference.”

“We’d all do well to start over again, preferably with kindergarten.”

“A lover’s a liar,
To himself he lies,
The truthful are loveless,
Like oysters their eyes!”

“What he meant, of course, was that there would always be wars, that they were as easy to stop as glaciers. I believe that, too.

And even if wars didn’t keep coming like glaciers, there would still be plain old death.”

“We’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That’s what it is to be alive. It’s pretty dense kids who haven’t figured that out by the time they’re ten…. Most kids can’t afford to go to Harvard and be misinformed.”

“It took us that long to realize that a purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”

“Don’t give up on books. They feel so good—their friendly heft. The sweet reluctance of their pages when you turn them with your sensitive fingertips. A large part of our brains is devoted to deciding what our hands are touching, is good or bad for us. Any brain worth a nickel knows books are good for us.”

“The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”

“Be aware of this truth that the people on this earth could be joyous, if only they would live rationally and if they would contribute mutually to each others’ welfare.

This world is not a vale of sorrows if you will recognize discriminatingly what is truly excellent in it; and if you will avail yourself of it for mutual happiness and well-being. Therefore, let us explain as often as possible, and particularly at the departure of life, that we base our faith on firm foundations, on Truth for putting into action our ideas which do not depend on fables and ideas which Science has long ago proven to be false.”

“The Earthlings behaved at all times as though there were a big eye in the sky—as though that big eye were ravenous for entertainment.”

“Comedians and jazz musicians have been more comforting and enlightening to me than preachers or politicians or philosophers or poets or painters or novelists of my time. Historians in the future, in my opinion, will congratulate us on very little other than our clowning and our jazz.”

“Think of what a paradise this world would be if men were kind and wise.”

“Her face … was a one-of-a-kind, a surprising variation on a familiar theme – a variation that made observers think, Yes – that would be another very nice way for people to look. What Beatrice had done with her face, actually, was what any plain girl could do. She overlaid it with dignity, suffering, intelligence, and a piquant dash of bitchiness.”

“I was obviously born to draw better than most people, just as the widow Berman and Paul Slazinger were obviously born to tell stories better than most people can. Other people are obviously born to sing and dance or explain the stars in the sky or do magic tricks or be great leaders or athletes, and so on.

I think that could go back to the time when people had to live in small groups of relatives — maybe fifty or a hundred people at the most. And evolution or God or whatever arranged things genetically to keep the little families going, to cheer them up, so that they could all have somebody to tell stories around the campfire at night, and somebody else to paint pictures on the walls of the caves, and somebody else who wasn’t afraid of anything and so on.

That’s what I think. And of course a scheme like that doesn’t make sense anymore, because simply moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but the world’s champions.

The entire planet can get along nicely now with maybe a dozen champion performers in each area of human giftedness. A moderately gifted person has to keep his or her gifts all bottled up until, in a manner of speaking, he or she gets drunk at a wedding and tapdances on the coffee table like Fred Astair or Ginger Rogers. We have a name for him or her. We call him or her an ‘exhibitionist.’

How do we reward such an exhibitionist? We say to him or her the next morning, ‘Wow! Were you ever _drunk_ last night!”

“Human beings will be happier – not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That’s my utopia.”

“I hate it that Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases.”

“History is merely a list of surprises,’ I said. ‘It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again. Please write that down.”

“So it goes.”

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies–: God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

“My god-life! who can understand eve one little minute of it? ‘don’t try’ he said ‘just pretend you understand.”

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

“Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.”

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”

“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”

“And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.

So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.”

“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC”

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

“And so it goes…”

“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

“A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”
sent: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.”

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.”

“How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.”

“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

“And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes.”

“Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.”

“The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon.”

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder ‘why, why, why?’
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.”

“Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.”

“I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.”

“Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”

“To be is to do – Socrates

To do is to be – Sartre

Do Be Do Be Do – Sinatra”

“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.”

“1492. As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.”
“The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.”

“Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.”

“As for literary criticism in general: I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split.”

“I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, ‘The Beatles did’.”

“That’s one thing Earthlings might learn to do, if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times and concentrate on the good ones.”

“I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead.”

“I’m not a drug salesman. I’m a writer.”

“What makes you think a writer isn’t a drug salesman?”

“There is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look.”

“I felt after I finished Slaughterhouse-Five that I didn’t have to write at all anymore if I didn’t want to. It was the end of some sort of career. I don’t know why, exactly. I suppose that flowers, when they’re through blooming, have some sort of awareness of some purpose having been served. Flowers didn’t ask to be flowers and I didn’t ask to be me. At the end of Slaughterhouse-Five…I had a shutting-off feeling…that I had done what I was supposed to do and everything was OK .”

“We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.”

“Wake up, you idiots! Whatever made you think that money was so valuable?”

“The practice of art isn’t to make a living. It’s to make your soul grow.”

“You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too. And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.”

“All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let’s get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States — and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!”

“Trout, incidentally, had written a book about a money tree. It had twenty-dollar bills for leaves. Its flowers were government bonds. Its fruit was diamonds. It attracted human beings who killed each other around the roots and made very good fertilizer.”

“People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they’ll have good voice boxes in case there’s ever anything really meaningful to say.”

“No good at life, but very funny sometimes with the commentary.”

“People aren’t supposed to look back. I’m certainly not going to do it anymore.”

“She was a dull person, but a sensational invitation to make babies.”

“I am eternally grateful for my knack of finding in great books, some of them very funny books, reason enough to feel honored to be alive, no matter what else might be going on.”

“It is just an illusion here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever.”

“Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne.”

“Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.”

“We’re terrible animals. I think that the Earth’s immune system is trying to get rid of us, as well it should.”

“I think you guys are going to have to come up with a lot of wonderful new lies, or people just aren’t going to want to go on living.”

“Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”

“All right – I’ll tell you what you did for me: you went for happy, silly, beautiful walks with me.”

“No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious & charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.”

“No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat’s cradle is nothing but a bunch of X’s between somebody’s hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X’s . . .”
“And?”
“No damn cat, and no damn cradle.”

“The bounties of space, of infinite outwardness, were three: empty heroics, low comedy, and pointless death.”

“All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber.”

“So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too.”

“It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead, to never say anything or want anything ever again. Everything is supposed to be very quiet after a massacre, and it always is, except for the birds. And what do the birds say? All there is to say about a massacre, things like “Poo-tee-weet?”

“I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.”

“Plato says that the unexamined life is not worth living. But what if the examined life turns out to be a clunker as well?”

“If what Jesus said was good, what can it matter whether he was God or not?”

“There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters.”

“There are plenty of good reasons for fighting…but no good reason to ever hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty hates with you, too. Where’s evil? It’s that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It’s that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive….it’s that part of an imbecile that punishes and vilifies and makes war gladly.”

“We are what we imagine ourselves to be. ”

“A saint is a person who behaves decently in a shockingly indecent society.”

“Until you die .. it’s all life.”

“in nonsense is strength”

“You’ll forget it when you’re dead, and so will I. When I’m dead, I’m going to forget everything–and I advise you to do the same.”

“Self-taught, are you?” Julian Castle asked Newt.
“Isn’t everybody?” Newt inquired.
“Very good answer.”

“Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.”

“It was very exciting for her, taking his dignity away in the name of love.”

“Life is no way to treat an animal.”

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana)

I’ve got news for Mr. Santayana: we’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That’s what it is to be alive.”

“It’s the emptiest and yet the fullest of all human messages: ‘Good-bye.”

“Artists use frauds to make human beings seem more wonderful than they really are. Dancers show us human beings who move much more gracefully than human beings really move. Films and books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people really talk, make paltry human enterprises seem important. Singers and musicians show us human beings making sounds far more lovely than human beings really make. Architects give us temples in which something marvelous is obviously going on. Actually, practically nothing is going on.”

“As Bokonon says: ‘peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god.”

“But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned to a pillar of salt. So it goes. People aren’t supposed to look back. I’m certainly not going to do it anymore.”

“The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart.”

“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.”

“If there really had been a Mercutio, and if there really were a Paradise, Mercutio might be hanging out with teenage Vietnam draftee casualties now, talking about what it felt like to die for other people’s vanity and foolishness.”

“. . . but the Universe is an awfully big place. There is room enough for an awful lot of people to be right about things and still not agree.”
? Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

“Fucking was how babies were made.”

“You realize, of course, that everything I say is horseshit.”

“People took such awful chances with chemicals and their bodies because they wanted the quality of their lives to improve. They lived in ugly places where there were only ugly things to do. They didn’t own doodley-squat, so they couldn’t improve their surroundings. so they did their best to make their insides beautiful instead.”

“As stupid and vicious as men are, this is a lovely day.”

“The insane, on occasion, are not without their charms.”

“Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.”

“Here’s the news: I am going to sue the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company, manufacturers of Pall Mall cigarettes, for a billion bucks! Starting when I was only twelve years old, I have never chain-smoked anything but unfiltered Pall Malls. And for many years now, right on the package, Brown & Williamson have promised to kill me.
But I am eighty-two. Thanks a lot, you dirty rats. The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon.”

“All people are insane. They will do anything at any time, and God help anybody who looks for reasons.”

“Busy, busy, busy, is what we Bokononists whisper whenever we think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.”

“America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves…. It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters.”

“I will say, too, that lovemaking, if sincere, is one of the best ideas Satan put in the apple she gave to the serpent to give to Eve. The best idea in that apple, though, is making jazz.”

“No art is possible without a dance with death, he wrote.”

“What you can become is the miracle you were born to be through the work that you do.”

“How embarrassing to be human.”

“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”

“There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
? Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

“You know what truth is? […] It’s some crazy thing my neighbor believes. If I want to make friends with him, I ask him what he believes. He tells me, and I say, “Yeah, yeah – ain’t it the truth?”

“If I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say, ‘Kurt is up in heaven now.’ That’s my favorite joke.”

“His response was to fight it with the only weapons at hand—passive resistance and open displays of contempt.”

“Only in books do we learn what’s really going on.”

“Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.”

“Anyone unable to understand how useful religion can be founded on lies will not understand this book either.”

“My soul knows my meat is doing bad things, and is embarrassed. But my meat just keeps right on doing bad, dumb things.”

“He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next”

“Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is.”

“That’s the point. Every kind of animal thinks its own kind of animal is wonderful. So people getting married think they’re wonderful, and that they’re going to have a baby– that’s wonderful, when actually they’re as ugly as rhinoceroses. Just because we think we’re so wonderful doesn’t mean we really are. We could be really terrible animals and just never admit it because it would hurt so much.”

“So It Goes”

“Every passing hour brings the Solar System forty three thousand miles closer to Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules — and still there are some misfits who insist that there is no such thing as progress.”

“You meet saints everywhere. They can be anywhere. They are people behaving decently in an indecent society.”

“Sometimes I wonder if he wasn’t born dead. I never met a man who was less interested in the living. Sometimes I think that’s the trouble with the world: too many people in high places who are stone-cold dead.”

“Goodbye blue Monday.”

“Since Alice had never received any religious instruction, and since she had led a blameless life, she never thought of her awful luck as being anything but accidents in a very busy place. Good for her.”

“What is the purpose of life?…To be the eyes and ears and conscience of the Creator of the Universe, you fool!”

“When a couple has an argument nowadays they may think it s about money or power or sex or how to raise the kids or whatever. What they’re really saying to each other, though without realizing it, is this: “You are not enough people!”

“That is my principal objection to life, I think: It’s too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.”

“Billy had a framed prayer on his office wall which expressed his method for keeping going, even though he was unenthusiastic about living. A lot of patients who saw the prayer on Billy’s wall told him that it helped them to keep going, too. It went like this: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference.” Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future.”

“Women are so useless and unimaginative, aren’t they? All they ever think of planting in the dirt is the seed of something beautiful or edible. The only missile they can ever think of throwing at anybody is a ball or a bridal bouquet.”

“She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is Doing, [writes Bokonon].”

“The heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality and the heartbreaking impossibilty of lying about it”

“The most important thing I learnt on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. When any Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments.”

“How’s the patient?” asked Derby.
“Dead to the world.”
“But not actually dead.”
“No.”
“How nice – to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.”

“I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die. To their everlasting honor and our everlasting shame, they do die like men, thus making possible the manly jubilation of patriotic holidays. But they are murdered children all the same.”

“love is a hawk with velvet claws
love is a rock with heart and veins
love is a lion with satin jaws
love is a storm with silken reins”

“The darkest secret of this country, I am afraid, is that too many of its citizens imagine that they belong to a much higher civilization somewhere else. That higher civilization doesn’t have to be another country. It can be the past instead—the United States as it was before it was spoiled by immigrants and the enfranchisement of the blacks.

This state of mind allows too many of us to lie and cheat and steal from the rest of us, to sell us junk and addictive poisons and corrupting entertainments. What are the rest of us, after all, but sub-human aborigines?”

“What a fool I would have been to let self-respect interfere with my happiness!”

“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

“Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician.”

“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

“The biggest truth to face now – what is probably making me unfunny now for the remainder of my life – is that I don’t think people give a damn whether the planet goes or not. It seems to me as if everyone is living as members of Alcoholics Anonymous do, day by day. And a few more days will be enough. I know of very few people who are dreaming of a world for their grandchildren.”

“profanity and obscenity entitle people who don’t want unpleasant information to close their ears and eyes to you.”

“Earthlings went on being friendly, when they should have been thinking instead.”

“I don’t reveal to her that I love her. I keep poker faced. She might as well be looking at a cantaloupe, there is so little information in my face, but my heart is beating.”

“The public health authorities never mention the main reason many Americans have for smoking heavily, which is that smoking is a fairly sure, fairly honorable form of suicide.”

“Only nut cases want to be president. This was true even in high school. Only clearly disturbed people ran for class president.”

“…when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist.”

“Being an American means never having to say you’re sorry.”

“The words were a paraphrase of the suggestion of Jesus: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s.”
Bokonon’s paraphrase was this:
“Pay no attention to Caesar. Caesar doesn’t have the slightest idea what’s really going on.”

“To the as-yet-unborn, to all innocent wisps of undifferentiated nothingness: Watch out for life.”

“Goodness me, the clock has struck-
Alackday, and fuck my luck.”

“Everyone now knows how to find the meaning of life within himself.”

“The women all had big minds because they were big animals, but they didn’t use them for this reason: unusual ideas could make enemies and the women, if they were going to achieve any sort of comfort and safety, needed all the friends they could get. So, in the interest of survival they trained themselves to be agreeing machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking and then they thought it too.”

“Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgment Day: We never asked to be born in the first place.”

“Dwayne’s bad chemicals made him take a loaded thirty-eight caliber revolver from under his pillow and stick it in his mouth. This was a tool whose only purpose was to make holes in human beings.”

“I don’t know about you, but I practice a disorganized religion. I belong to an unholy disorder. We call ourselves “Our Lady of the Perpetual Astonishment”

 

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