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Kurt Vonnegut Quotes

American novelist, Birth: 11-11-1922, Death: 11-4-2007 Kurt Vonnegut Quotes
1.
For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes (Matthew 5). But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course, that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere. "Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break!
Kurt Vonnegut

2.
True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.
Kurt Vonnegut

Appalling realization that the people who once sat in the same desks as you now control the nation.
3.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
Kurt Vonnegut

'We become who we simulate to be, thus it is imperative to be mindful of what we act out.'
4.
There is a tragic flaw in our precious constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
Kurt Vonnegut

'Our beloved constitution contains a fatal fault, and I'm not sure what can be done to address it. The reality is that only lunatics seek the role of president.'
5.
I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut

Similar Authors: Mark Twain C. S. Lewis Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Haruki Murakami Ayn Rand Charles Dickens George Eliot Albert Camus Victor Hugo Chuck Palahniuk Margaret Atwood Virginia Woolf Ernest Hemingway George R. R. Martin Jane Austen
6.
He didn't look like a soldier at all. He looked like a filthy flamingo.
Kurt Vonnegut

7.
Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.
Kurt Vonnegut

8.
Perhaps I am the turtle, able to live simply anywhere, even underwater for short periods, with my home on my back.
Kurt Vonnegut

Quote Topics by Kurt Vonnegut: People Thinking Writing War Men Slaughterhouse Five Book Ideas Art Years Life Believe Way Hate Character Country School Beautiful Nice Mean Want World Children Two Artist Looks Lying Stories Giving Past
9.
The prostitutes worked for a pimp now. He was splendid and cruel. He was a god to them. He took their free will away from them, which was perfectly all right. They didn't want it anyway. It was as though they had surrendered themselves to Jesus, for instance, so they could live unselfishly and trustingly-except that they had surrendered to a pimp instead.
Kurt Vonnegut

10.
About astrology and palmistry: they are good because they make people vivid and full of possibilities. They are communism at its best. Everybody has a birthday and almost everybody has a palm.
Kurt Vonnegut

11.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut

12.
We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different.
Kurt Vonnegut

13.
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."
Kurt Vonnegut

14.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut

15.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
Kurt Vonnegut

16.
During the Vietnam War, which lasted longer than any war we've ever been in - and which we lost - every respectable artist in this country was against the war. It was like a laser beam. We were all aimed in the same direction. The power of this weapon turns out to be that of a custard pie dropped from a stepladder six feet high.
Kurt Vonnegut

17.
Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.
Kurt Vonnegut

18.
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
Kurt Vonnegut

19.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut

20.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut

21.
Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.
Kurt Vonnegut

22.
Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow.
Kurt Vonnegut

23.
We're terrible animals. I think that the Earth's immune system is trying to get rid of us, as well it should.
Kurt Vonnegut

24.
I don't know what's going on, and I'm probably not smart enough to understand if somebody was to explain it to me. All I know is we're being tested somehow, by somebody or some thing a whole lot smarter than us, and all I can do is be friendly and keep calm and try and have a nice time till it's over.
Kurt Vonnegut

25.
Still and all, why bother? Here's my answer. 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.
Kurt Vonnegut

26.
One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.
Kurt Vonnegut

27.
There is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look.
Kurt Vonnegut

28.
Like all real heroes, Charley had a fatal flaw. He refused to believe that he had gonorrhea, whereas the truth was that he did.
Kurt Vonnegut

29.
A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.
Kurt Vonnegut

30.
Someday, someday, this crazy world will have to end, And our God will take things back that He to us did lend. And if, on that sad day, you want to scold our God, Why just go ahead and scold Him. He'll just smile and nod.
Kurt Vonnegut

31.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut

32.
It's a terrible waste to be happy and not notice it.
Kurt Vonnegut

33.
Our awareness is all that is alive and maybe sacred in any of us. Everything else about us is dead machinery.
Kurt Vonnegut

34.
Sometimes I think it is a great mistake to have matter that can think and feel. It complains so. By the same token, though, I suppose that boulders and mountains and moons could be accused of being a little too phlegmatic.
Kurt Vonnegut

35.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut

36.
There's a Chaplain who never visited the front.
Kurt Vonnegut

37.
The sermon was based on what he claimed was a well-known fact, that there were no Atheists in foxholes. I asked Jack what he thought of the sermon afterwards, and he said, "There's a Chaplain who never visited the front.
Kurt Vonnegut

38.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut

39.
I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.
Kurt Vonnegut

40.
The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable.
Kurt Vonnegut

41.
Because we grew up surrounded by big dramatic story arcs in books and movies, we think our lives are supposed to be filled with huge ups and downs. So people pretend there is drama where there is none.
Kurt Vonnegut

42.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut

43.
Most writers are not quick-witted when they talk. Novelists, in particular, drag themselves around in society like gut-shot bears.
Kurt Vonnegut

44.
A first grader should understand that her or his culture isn't a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society...Cultural relativity is defensible, attractive. It's a source of hope. It means we don't have to continue this way if we don't like it.
Kurt Vonnegut

45.
We'd been apart so long--I'd been dead so long," she said in English. "I thought surely you'd built a new life, with no room in it for me. I'd hoped that." "My life is nothing but room for you." I said. "It could never be filled by anyone but you.
Kurt Vonnegut

46.
Doesn't anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools, or health insurance for all?
Kurt Vonnegut

47.
Everything is nothing, with a twist.
Kurt Vonnegut

48.
Evolution is so creative. That's how we got giraffes.
Kurt Vonnegut

49.
You meet saints everywhere. They can be anywhere. They are people behaving decently in an indecent society.
Kurt Vonnegut

50.
I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.
Kurt Vonnegut