Quotation Explorer - 'Kurt Vonnegut'

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
During my three years in Vietnam, I certainly heard plenty of last words by dying American footsoldiers. Not one of them, however, had illusions that he had somehow accomplished something worthwhile in the process of making the Supreme Sacrifice. - Kurt Vonnegut
When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. - Kurt Vonnegut
Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before... He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way. - Kurt Vonnegut
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. - Kurt Vonnegut
The human race is a scummy thing, and so is Earth, and so are you. - Kurt Vonnegut
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. - Kurt Vonnegut
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
Literature is the only art in which the audience performs the score. - Kurt Vonnegut
We Humanists behave as well as we can, without any expectation of rewards or punishments in an Afterlife. We serve as best we can the only abstraction with which we have any real familiarity, which is our community. - Kurt Vonnegut
Nothing ever really ends. That’s the horrible part of being in the short-story business—you have to be a real expert on ends. Nothing in real life ends. ‘Millicent at last understands.’ Nobody ever understands. - Kurt Vonnegut
It's embarrassing to be human. - Kurt Vonnegut
Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information. - Kurt Vonnegut
Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones. - Kurt Vonnegut
I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex. - Kurt Vonnegut
All of the true things I'm about to tell you are shameless lies. - Kurt Vonnegut
How nice--to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive. - Kurt Vonnegut
The most important thing I learned 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. - Kurt Vonnegut
Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe. - Kurt Vonnegut
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. - Kurt Vonnegut
I'm simply interested in what is going to happen next. I don't think I can control my life or my writing. Every other writer I know feels he is steering himself, and I don't have that feeling. I don't have that sort of control. I'm simply becoming. I'm startled that I became a writer. - Kurt Vonnegut
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
The chief weapon of sea pirates, however, was their capacity to astonish. Nobody else could believe, until it was too late, how heartless and greedy they were. - Kurt Vonnegut
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
The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest. - Kurt Vonnegut
Well, the telling of jokes is an art of its own, and it always rises from some emotional threat. The best jokes are dangerous, and dangerous because they are in some way truthful. - Kurt Vonnegut
What makes you think a writer isn't a drug salesman? - Kurt Vonnegut
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. - Kurt Vonnegut
Montana was naked, and so was Billy, of course. He had a tremendous wang, incidentally. You never know who'll get one. - Kurt Vonnegut
To an unmoored, middle-aged man like myself, it was heart-breaking. That’s all right. I like to have my heart broken. - Kurt Vonnegut
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. - Kurt Vonnegut
Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, "It might have been. - Kurt Vonnegut
We didn't belong anywhere in particular any more. We were interchangeable parts in the American machine. - Kurt Vonnegut
Maybe I did hurt him, but I don’t think I could have hurt him much. He was one of the best-protected human beings who ever lives. People couldn’t get at him because he just wasn’t interested in people. - Kurt Vonnegut
There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. - Kurt Vonnegut
When we passed a Catholic church, I recalled, he said, "You think your dad's a good chemist? They're turning soda crackers into meat in there. Can your dad do that? - Kurt Vonnegut
I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours. - Kurt Vonnegut
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth," the long out-of-print science fiction writer went on. - Kurt Vonnegut
Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber. - Kurt Vonnegut
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. - Kurt Vonnegut
If people think nature is their friend then they sure don't need an enemy. - Kurt Vonnegut
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 10. ... Most kids can’t afford to go to Harvard and be misinformed. - Kurt Vonnegut
I still believe that peace and plenty and happiness can be worked out some way. I am a fool. - Kurt Vonnegut
Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance. - Kurt Vonnegut
When a man becomes a writer, I think he takes a sacred obligation to produce beauty and enlightenment and comfort at top speed. - Kurt Vonnegut
The row was actually about everything in creation, but it had for its subject of the moment the boy's mustache. - Kurt Vonnegut
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. - Kurt Vonnegut
Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. - Kurt Vonnegut
You can't help it but you were born without a heart. At least you tried to believe what the people with hearts believed so you were a good man just the same. - Kurt Vonnegut
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
She said his music was tuned to the biggest music there ever was, the music of the stars. - Kurt Vonnegut
If you would be unloved and forgotten, be reasonable. - Kurt Vonnegut
I hate it that Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases. - Kurt Vonnegut
The primary benefit of practicing any art, whether well or badly, is that it enables one's soul to grow. - Kurt Vonnegut
Make me young, make me young, make me young! - Kurt Vonnegut
When I write, I feel like an armless leg less man with a crayon in his mouth. - Kurt Vonnegut
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'. - Kurt Vonnegut
Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything. - Kurt Vonnegut
I can have oodles of charm when I want to. - Kurt Vonnegut
I was too pessimistic for an optimist to live with - Kurt Vonnegut
The 2 prime movers in the Universe are Time and Luck.As the tag line of my favorite dirty joke would have it: "Keep your hat on. We could wind up miles from here. - Kurt Vonnegut
You cannot be a good writer of serious fiction if you are not depressed. - Kurt Vonnegut
New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become. - Kurt Vonnegut
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. - Kurt Vonnegut
Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind. - Kurt Vonnegut
I thought the worst of everyone. - Kurt Vonnegut
The lieutenant-colonel realized for the first time what most people never realize about themselves--that he was not only a victim of outrageous fortune, but one of outrageous fortune's cruelest agents as well. - Kurt Vonnegut
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 - Kurt Vonnegut
Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
This has been my greatest challenge: because the current reality now seems so unreal, it's hard to make nonfiction seem believable. But you, my friend [Michael Moore], are able to do that. - Kurt Vonnegut
Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say? - Kurt Vonnegut
If you can't write clearly, you probably don't think nearly as well as you think you do. - Kurt Vonnegut
If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDEDFOR THE EXISTENCE OF GODWAS MUSIC - Kurt Vonnegut
A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved. - Kurt Vonnegut
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
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
The name of the new religion," said Rumfoord, "is The Church of God the Utterly Indifferent. - Kurt Vonnegut
Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile! - Kurt Vonnegut
You can’t write novels without a touch of paranoia. I’m paranoid as an act of good citizenship, concerned about what the powerful people are up to. - Kurt Vonnegut
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
I speak gibberish to the civilized world and it replies in kind. - Kurt Vonnegut
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt. - Kurt Vonnegut
During the Vietnam War, 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
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 to a pillar of salt. So it goes. - Kurt Vonnegut
And lucky indeed is the writer who has grown up in Ireland, for the English spoken there is so amusing and musical. (How to Write with Style. Essay, 1985) - Kurt Vonnegut
Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid of you. - Kurt Vonnegut
No more apologies! So we're poor! All right, we're poor! This is America! And America is one place in this sorry world where people Shouldn't have to apologize for being poor. The question in America should be, 'Is this guy a good citizen? Is he honest? Does he pull his own weight? - Kurt Vonnegut
Because," I said, "the japanese were as responsible as the Germans for turning Americans into a bunch of bankrupt militaristic fuckups - after we'd done such a good job of being sincere war-haters after the First World War. - Kurt Vonnegut
Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician. - Kurt Vonnegut
Humor is an almost physiological response to fear. - Kurt Vonnegut
Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. - Kurt Vonnegut
Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. - Kurt Vonnegut
You are better than you think. A-one, a-two a-three. - Kurt Vonnegut
We're really awful animals. I mean, that dumb Barbra Streisand song, 'People who need people are the luckiest people in the world' - she's talking about cannibals. Lot's to eat. - Kurt Vonnegut
Somebody gets into trouble, then gets out of it again. People love that story. They never get tired of it. - Kurt Vonnegut
Title: What Can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years? Only verse: Nothing. - Kurt Vonnegut
Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops. - Kurt Vonnegut
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand. - Kurt Vonnegut
I will say further, as an officer of an enormous international conglomerate, that nobody who is doing well in this economy ever even wonders waht is really going on.We are chimpanzees. We are orangutans. - Kurt Vonnegut
To be is to do - SocratesTo do is to be - SartreDo Be Do Be Do - Sinatra - Kurt Vonnegut
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. - Kurt Vonnegut
Talent is extremely common. What is rare is the willingness to endure the life of the writer. - Kurt Vonnegut
Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter could be said to remedy anything. - Kurt Vonnegut
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward. - Kurt Vonnegut
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. - Kurt Vonnegut
There was a photograph of Trout. He was an old man with a full black beard. He looked like a frightened, aging Jesus, whose sentence to crucifixion had been commuted to imprisonment for life. - Kurt Vonnegut
What is my definition of jazz? 'Safe sex of the highest order. - Kurt Vonnegut
If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind. - Kurt Vonnegut
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