Thursday, December 24, 2009

Favorite Kurt Vonnegut Quotes

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
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
If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.
    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
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
Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!
    Kurt Vonnegut
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand
    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, "Cat's Cradle"
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, "Cold Turkey", In These Times, May 10, 2004
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, "Cold Turkey", In These Times, May 10, 2004
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, "Cold Turkey", In These Times, May 10, 2004
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, A Man without a Country
Humor is an almost physiological response to fear.
    Kurt Vonnegut, A Man without a Country
I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex.
    Kurt Vonnegut, A Man without a 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.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
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, Breakfast of Champions
Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind.
    Kurt Vonnegut, breakfast of champions (page 19)
I can have oodles of charm when I want to.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions (page 20)
Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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, Cold Turkey
Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Hocus Pocus
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, Hocus Pocus
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, Interview,
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
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, Novel 'Hocus Pocus' 1990
A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Sirens of Titan
Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five
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, Slaughterhouse V
How nice--to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

1 comment:

Timeshadows said...

Some interesting choices you've listed there, Rob.
--Thanks. :)