photo of Kurt VonnegutPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Quotes by Kurt Vonnegut

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Kurt Vonnegut. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. In a career spanning over 50 years, he published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five nonfiction works, with further collections being published after his death.

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Vonnegut attended Cornell University but withdrew in January 1943 and enlisted in the U.S. Army. As part of his training, he studied mechanical engineering at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) and the University of Tennessee. He was then deployed to Europe to fight in World War II and was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. He was interned in Dresden, where he survived the Allied bombing of the city in a meat locker of the slaughterhouse where he was imprisoned. After the war, he married Jane Marie Cox, with whom he had three children. He adopted his nephews after his sister died of cancer and her husband was killed in a train accident. He and his wife both attended the University of Chicago, while he worked as a night reporter for the City News Bureau.

Vonnegut published his first novel, Player Piano, in 1952. The novel was reviewed positively but was not commercially successful at the time. In the nearly 20 years that followed, he published several novels that were well regarded, two of which (The Sirens of Titan [1959] and Cat's Cradle [1963]) were nominated for the Hugo Award for best novel. He published a short story collection titled Welcome to the Monkey House in 1968. His breakthrough was his commercially and critically successful sixth novel, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). The book's anti-war sentiment resonated with its readers amidst the ongoing Vietnam War and its reviews were generally positive. After its release, Slaughterhouse-Five went to the top of The New York Times Best Seller list, thrusting Vonnegut into fame. He was invited to give speeches, lectures, and commencement addresses around the country, and received many awards and honors.

Later in his career, Vonnegut published several autobiographical essays and short-story collections such as Fates Worse Than Death (1991) and A Man Without a Country (2005). After his death, he was hailed as one of the most important contemporary writers and a dark humor commentator on American society. His son Mark published a compilation of his unpublished works, titled Armageddon in Retrospect, in 2008. In 2017, Seven Stories Press published Complete Stories, a collection of Vonnegut's short fiction including five previously unpublished stories. Complete Stories was collected and introduced by Vonnegut friends and scholars Jerome Klinkowitz and Dan Wakefield. Numerous scholarly works have examined Vonnegut's writing and humor.

Quote: There was no immunity to cuckoo ideas on Earth. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of couple embracing backlit by sunset wallpaper
Photo Credit: Mauricio Livio

There was no immunity to cuckoo ideas on Earth.


Quote: The secret to success in any human endeavor is total concentration. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of liquor pouring on clear shot glass
Photo Credit: Adam Jaime

The secret to success in any human endeavor is total concentration.


Quote: Think of what a paradise this world would be if men were kind and wise. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of brown and white butterfly on purple petaled flower
Photo Credit: Aaron Burden

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


Quote: 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. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime
Photo Credit: Rohit Tandon

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.


Quote: To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of yellow, orange, red, green, and blue abstract painting
Photo Credit: Markus Spiske

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.


Quote: No art is possible without a dance with death. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of white wooden table near brown chair
Photo Credit: Bench Accounting

No art is possible without a dance with death.


Quote: History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of silhouette of mountain
Photo Credit: Elliott Engelmann

History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.


Quote: The programming wasn’t done surgically or electrically, or by any other sort of neurological intrusiveness. It was done socially, with nothing but talk, talk, talk. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The programming wasn’t done surgically or electrically, or by any other sort of neurological intrusiveness. It was done socially, with nothing but talk, talk, talk.


Quote: Find a subject you care about and which you feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Find a subject you care about and which you feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.


Quote: I am committing suicide by cigarette, I replied. She thought that was reasonably funny. I didn't. I thought it was hideous that I should scorn life that much, sucking away on cancer sticks. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I am committing suicide by cigarette, I replied. She thought that was reasonably funny. I didn't. I thought it was hideous that I should scorn life that much, sucking away on cancer sticks.


Quote: And I left the seashell roar and the aurora borealis of the city's heart farther and farther behind me. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

And I left the seashell roar and the aurora borealis of the city's heart farther and farther behind me.


Quote: War is now a form of TV entertainment. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

War is now a form of TV entertainment.


Quote: I am, of course, notoriously hooked on cigarettes. I keep hoping the things will kill me. A fire at one end and a fool at the other. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I am, of course, notoriously hooked on cigarettes. I keep hoping the things will kill me. A fire at one end and a fool at the other.


Quote: Father, we are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Father, we are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.


Quote: Life is nothing but high school. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Life is nothing but high school.


Quote: Labor history was pornography of a sort in those days, and even more so in these days. In public schools and in the homes of nice people it was and remains pretty much taboo to tell tales of labor's sufferings and derring-do. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Labor history was pornography of a sort in those days, and even more so in these days. In public schools and in the homes of nice people it was and remains pretty much taboo to tell tales of labor's sufferings and derring-do.


Quote: I have never identified with the K in Kafka's works, by the way. Having grown up in a democracy, I have dared to imagine that I know at all times who is really in charge, what is really going on. This could be a mistake. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I have never identified with the K in Kafka's works, by the way. Having grown up in a democracy, I have dared to imagine that I know at all times who is really in charge, what is really going on. This could be a mistake.


Quote: Why should a real man stay home when he could be raping a virgin continent? by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Why should a real man stay home when he could be raping a virgin continent?


Quote: A very good me, the real me, a me made in Heaven, is hidden deep inside. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

A very good me, the real me, a me made in Heaven, is hidden deep inside.


Quote: You asked the impossible of a machine and the machine complied. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

You asked the impossible of a machine and the machine complied.


Quote: I am the Emperor! cried Harrison. Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once! He stamped his foot and the studio shook.

Even as I stand here he bellowed, crippled, hobbled, sickened -- I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote: I am the Emperor! cried Harrison. Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once! He stamped his foot and the studio shook.

Even as I stand here he bellowed, crippled, hobbled, sickened -- I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become.- black text on quotes background

I am the Emperor! cried Harrison. Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once! He stamped his foot and the studio shook.

Even as I stand here he bellowed, crippled, hobbled, sickened -- I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become.




Quote: The statue was of a nude woman playing a slide trombone. It was entitles, enigmatically, Evelyn and Her Magic Violin. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The statue was of a nude woman playing a slide trombone. It was entitles, enigmatically, Evelyn and Her Magic Violin.


Quote: Their beauty was to the beauty of Miss Canal Zone as the glory of the Sun was to the glory of a lightning bug. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Their beauty was to the beauty of Miss Canal Zone as the glory of the Sun was to the glory of a lightning bug.


Quote: The church, which squatted among the headstones like a wet mother dodo, had been at various times Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Unitarian, and Universally Apocalyptic. It was now the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The church, which squatted among the headstones like a wet mother dodo, had been at various times Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Unitarian, and Universally Apocalyptic. It was now the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent.




Quote: It's a small world, I observed.
When you put it in a cemetery, it is. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

It's a small world, I observed.
When you put it in a cemetery, it is.


Quote: Suicide is the punctuation mark at the end of many artistic careers. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Suicide is the punctuation mark at the end of many artistic careers.


Quote: In The Mysterious Stranger, Mark Twain proves to his own grim satisfaction, and to mine as well, that Satan and not God created the planet earth and the damned human race. If you doubt that, read your morning paper. Never mind what paper. Never mind what date. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

In The Mysterious Stranger, Mark Twain proves to his own grim satisfaction, and to mine as well, that Satan and not God created the planet earth and the damned human race. If you doubt that, read your morning paper. Never mind what paper. Never mind what date.


Quote: That war only made billionaires out of millionaires. Today's war is making trillionaires out of billionaires. Now I call that progress. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

That war only made billionaires out of millionaires. Today's war is making trillionaires out of billionaires. Now I call that progress.


Quote: It was going to be about the love my wife and I had for each other. It was going to show how a pair of lovers in a world gone mad could survive by being loyal only to a nation composed of themselves -- a nation of two. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

It was going to be about the love my wife and I had for each other. It was going to show how a pair of lovers in a world gone mad could survive by being loyal only to a nation composed of themselves -- a nation of two.




Quote: If you live long enough, a lot of people close to you are going to die. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

If you live long enough, a lot of people close to you are going to die.


Quote: My father died many years ago now -- of natural causes. So it goes. He was a sweet man. He was a gun nut, too. He left me his guns. They rust. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

My father died many years ago now -- of natural causes. So it goes. He was a sweet man. He was a gun nut, too. He left me his guns. They rust.


Quote: The good Earth -- we could have saved it, but we were too damn cheap and lazy. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The good Earth -- we could have saved it, but we were too damn cheap and lazy.


Quote: The smoke from her cigarette passed beneath the nostrils of the brown and white girls, and their space-annihilating concupiscence seemed centered on mentholated smoke along. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The smoke from her cigarette passed beneath the nostrils of the brown and white girls, and their space-annihilating concupiscence seemed centered on mentholated smoke along.


Quote: I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex.


Quote: The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head.




Quote: I speak of humorless people as having a moral flaw, and that's not fair. It's just like regarding it as a moral flaw that someone can't sing. An awful lot of humorless people come into this world, and they make very good Nazis. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I speak of humorless people as having a moral flaw, and that's not fair. It's just like regarding it as a moral flaw that someone can't sing. An awful lot of humorless people come into this world, and they make very good Nazis.


Quote: The most radical, audacious thing to think is that there might be some point to working hard and thinking hard and reading hard and writing hard and trying to be of service. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The most radical, audacious thing to think is that there might be some point to working hard and thinking hard and reading hard and writing hard and trying to be of service.


Quote: What makes you think a writer isn't a drug salesman? by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

What makes you think a writer isn't a drug salesman?


Quote: 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. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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.


Quote: How complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

How complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.


Quote: I think the planet's immune system is trying to get rid of us with AIDS and new strains of flu and tuberculosis, and so on. I think the planet should get rid of us. We're really awful animals. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I think the planet's immune system is trying to get rid of us with AIDS and new strains of flu and tuberculosis, and so on. I think the planet should get rid of us. We're really awful animals.


Quote: Private -' I said. 'I've been living alone so long, everything about me's private. I'm surprised anyone's able to understand a word I say. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Private -' I said. 'I've been living alone so long, everything about me's private. I'm surprised anyone's able to understand a word I say.


Quote: And I apologize to all of you who are the same age as my grandchildren. And many of you reading this are the same age as my grandchildren. They, like you, are being royally shafted and lied to by our Baby Boomer corporations and government. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

And I apologize to all of you who are the same age as my grandchildren. And many of you reading this are the same age as my grandchildren. They, like you, are being royally shafted and lied to by our Baby Boomer corporations and government.


Quote: Earthlings went on being friendly, when they should have been thinking instead. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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.


Quote: But if today is really in honor of a hundred children murdered in a war, he said, is today a day for a thrilling show? The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants, are working tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of ourselves and of all mankind. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote; white text on black background

But if today is really in honor of a hundred children murdered in a war, he said, is today a day for a thrilling show? The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants, are working tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of ourselves and of all mankind.


Quote: 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. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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.


Quote: 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'. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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'.


Quote: 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. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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.


Quote: Jokes have to be quite naked to be understood. They have to be quite simple. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Jokes have to be quite naked to be understood. They have to be quite simple.


Quote: Fuller's cigar in the night was a beacon warning carefree, frivolous people away. It was plainly a cigar smoked in anger. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Fuller's cigar in the night was a beacon warning carefree, frivolous people away. It was plainly a cigar smoked in anger.


Quote: Here we are trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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.


Quote: I was hoping to build a country and add to its literature. That's why I served in World War II, and that's why I wrote books. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I was hoping to build a country and add to its literature. That's why I served in World War II, and that's why I wrote books.


Quote: Never had I seen a human being better adjusted to such a humiliating physical handicap. I shuddered with admiration. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Never had I seen a human being better adjusted to such a humiliating physical handicap. I shuddered with admiration.


Quote: Most of the supposed wealth held by American banks at that point had become so wholly imaginary, so weightless and impalpable, that any amount of it could be transferred instantly to Ecuador, or anyplace else capable of receiving a written message by wire or radio. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote; white text on black background

Most of the supposed wealth held by American banks at that point had become so wholly imaginary, so weightless and impalpable, that any amount of it could be transferred instantly to Ecuador, or anyplace else capable of receiving a written message by wire or radio.


Quote: 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. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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.


Quote: I concluded that the best thing for me and for those around me was to want nothing, to be enthusiastic about nothing, to be as unmotivated as possible, in fact, so that I would never again hurt anyone. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I concluded that the best thing for me and for those around me was to want nothing, to be enthusiastic about nothing, to be as unmotivated as possible, in fact, so that I would never again hurt anyone.




Quote: Honest to God, Bill, the way things are going, all I can think of is that I'm a character in a book by somebody who wants to write about somebody who suffers all the time. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Honest to God, Bill, the way things are going, all I can think of is that I'm a character in a book by somebody who wants to write about somebody who suffers all the time.


Quote: This much I knew and know: I was making myself hideously uncomfortable by not narrowing my attention to details of life which were immediately important, and by refusing to believe what my neighbors believed. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

This much I knew and know: I was making myself hideously uncomfortable by not narrowing my attention to details of life which were immediately important, and by refusing to believe what my neighbors believed.


Quote: Hitler at the end thought that he himself was one more casualty in the war. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Hitler at the end thought that he himself was one more casualty in the war.


Quote: I now make my living by being impolite. I am clumsy at it. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I now make my living by being impolite. I am clumsy at it.


Quote: Any scientist who can't explain to an eight-year-old what he is doing is a charlatan. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Any scientist who can't explain to an eight-year-old what he is doing is a charlatan.


Quote: A committee of three can accomplish much if two don't show up. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

A committee of three can accomplish much if two don't show up.


Quote: I think it's important to live in a nice country rather than a powerful one. Power makes everybody crazy. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I think it's important to live in a nice country rather than a powerful one. Power makes everybody crazy.


Quote: I'd rather have written Cheers than anything I've written. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I'd rather have written Cheers than anything I've written.


Quote: It's the writer's job to stage confrontations, so the characters will say surprising and revealing things, and educate and entertain us all. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

It's the writer's job to stage confrontations, so the characters will say surprising and revealing things, and educate and entertain us all.


Quote: And so it goes. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

And so it goes.


Quote: Somebody gets into trouble, then gets out of it again. People love that story. They never get tired of it. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Somebody gets into trouble, then gets out of it again. People love that story. They never get tired of it.


Quote: I've got at least one tiny corner of the universe I can make just the way I want it. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I've got at least one tiny corner of the universe I can make just the way I want it.


Quote: There is no shortage of wonderful writers. What we lack is a dependable mass of readers. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

There is no shortage of wonderful writers. What we lack is a dependable mass of readers.


Quote: I would have had him hanged from the yardarm, hick--if somebody hadn't stolen the, hick, yardarm, hick. At dawn, hick--if somebody hadn't stolen the dawn. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I would have had him hanged from the yardarm, hick--if somebody hadn't stolen the, hick, yardarm, hick. At dawn, hick--if somebody hadn't stolen the dawn.


Quote: Be a good editor. The Universe needs more good editors, God knows. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Be a good editor. The Universe needs more good editors, God knows.


Quote: One good thing about TV is, if you die violently, God forbid, on camera, you will not have died in vain because you will be great entertainment. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

One good thing about TV is, if you die violently, God forbid, on camera, you will not have died in vain because you will be great entertainment.


Quote: I don't know about you, but I practice a disorganized religion. I belong to an unholy disorder. We call ourselves Our Lady of Perpetual Astonishment. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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


Quote: How embarrassing to be human. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

How embarrassing to be human.


Quote: The slaves were simply turned loose without any property. They were easily recognizable. They were black. They were suddenly free to go exploring. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The slaves were simply turned loose without any property. They were easily recognizable. They were black. They were suddenly free to go exploring.


Quote: People like to feel entitled, whether they're actually entitled or not. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

People like to feel entitled, whether they're actually entitled or not.


Quote: We're here on Earth to fart around. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

We're here on Earth to fart around.


Quote: It was a hideous discovery for the stranger to make--that a man at the end of his days was capable of inflicting pain as the rawest, loudest youth. With so little time left, the stranger added one more item to his long, long list of regrets. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

It was a hideous discovery for the stranger to make--that a man at the end of his days was capable of inflicting pain as the rawest, loudest youth. With so little time left, the stranger added one more item to his long, long list of regrets.


Quote: If people think nature is their friend then they sure don't need an enemy. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

If people think nature is their friend then they sure don't need an enemy.


Quote: The surface of Earth heaved and seethed in fecund restlessness. Earth was most fertile where the most death was. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The surface of Earth heaved and seethed in fecund restlessness. Earth was most fertile where the most death was.


Quote: You're learning that you do not inhabit a solid, reliable social structure -- that the older people around you are worried, moody, goofy human beings who themselves were little kids only a few days ago. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

You're learning that you do not inhabit a solid, reliable social structure -- that the older people around you are worried, moody, goofy human beings who themselves were little kids only a few days ago.


Quote: George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography.




Quote: My special situation was that I was the son and grandson of architects. And so I saw building. We were building the city, and that was exciting. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

My special situation was that I was the son and grandson of architects. And so I saw building. We were building the city, and that was exciting.


Quote: Just in the nick of time they realized that it was their own habitat they were wrecking -- that they weren't merely visitors. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Just in the nick of time they realized that it was their own habitat they were wrecking -- that they weren't merely visitors.


Quote: 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. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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.


Quote: You are reading a bold and universal headline which says ,'I am here, I am here, I am here. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

You are reading a bold and universal headline which says ,'I am here, I am here, I am here.


Quote: I thought scientists were going to find out exactly how everything worked, and then make it work better. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I thought scientists were going to find out exactly how everything worked, and then make it work better.


Quote: The most racist, nastiest act by America, after human slavery, was the bombing of Nagasaki. Not of Hiroshima, which might have had some military significance. But Nagasaki was purely blowing away yellow men, women, and children. I'm glad I'm not a scientist because I'd feel so guilty now. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote: The most racist, nastiest act by America, after human slavery, was the bombing of Nagasaki. Not of Hiroshima, which might have had some military significance. But Nagasaki was purely blowing away yellow men, women, and children. I'm glad I'm not a scientist because I'd feel so guilty now.- black text on quotes background

The most racist, nastiest act by America, after human slavery, was the bombing of Nagasaki. Not of Hiroshima, which might have had some military significance. But Nagasaki was purely blowing away yellow men, women, and children. I'm glad I'm not a scientist because I'd feel so guilty now.


Quote: Thinking doesn't seem to help very much. The human brain is too high-powered to have many practical uses in this particular universe. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Thinking doesn't seem to help very much. The human brain is too high-powered to have many practical uses in this particular universe.


Quote: I am simply impressed by the unexpected insights which shower down on me when my job is to imagine, as contrasted with the woodenly familiar ideas which clutter my desk when my job is to tell the truth. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I am simply impressed by the unexpected insights which shower down on me when my job is to imagine, as contrasted with the woodenly familiar ideas which clutter my desk when my job is to tell the truth.


Quote: A society is only as healthy as its ideas are humane. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

A society is only as healthy as its ideas are humane.


Quote: My soul didn't know what kind of picture to paint, but my meat sure did. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

My soul didn't know what kind of picture to paint, but my meat sure did.


Quote: What a fool I would have been to let self-respect interfere with my happiness! by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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


Quote: Some jerk infected the Internet with an outright lie. It shows how easy it is to do and how credulous people are. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Some jerk infected the Internet with an outright lie. It shows how easy it is to do and how credulous people are.


Quote: Well, we are terribly divided politically, yes, and, you know, I don't mean to intimidate you and your listeners but I have a master's degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Well, we are terribly divided politically, yes, and, you know, I don't mean to intimidate you and your listeners but I have a master's degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago.


Quote: If I wrote something that hadn't really happened, and I tried to sell it, I could go to jail. That's fraud! by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

If I wrote something that hadn't really happened, and I tried to sell it, I could go to jail. That's fraud!


Quote: Time is liquid. One moment is no more important than any other and all moments quickly run away. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Time is liquid. One moment is no more important than any other and all moments quickly run away.


Quote: My nose, thank god, had conked out by then. Noses are merciful that way. They will report that something smells awful. If the owner of a nose stays around anyway, the nose concludes that the smell isn't so bad after all. It shuts itself off, deferring to superior wisdom. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote; white text on black background

My nose, thank god, had conked out by then. Noses are merciful that way. They will report that something smells awful. If the owner of a nose stays around anyway, the nose concludes that the smell isn't so bad after all. It shuts itself off, deferring to superior wisdom.


Quote: It's a widely accepted principle,' he says, 'that you can claim a piece of land which has been inhabited for tens of thousands of years, if only you repeat this mantra endlessly: 'We discovered it, we discovered it, we discovered it. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

It's a widely accepted principle,' he says, 'that you can claim a piece of land which has been inhabited for tens of thousands of years, if only you repeat this mantra endlessly: 'We discovered it, we discovered it, we discovered it.


Quote: Well, you know, in a way I wish I hadn't met you two. It's much more convenient to think of the opposition as a nice homogeneous, dead-wrong mass. Now I've got to muddy my thinking with exceptions. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Well, you know, in a way I wish I hadn't met you two. It's much more convenient to think of the opposition as a nice homogeneous, dead-wrong mass. Now I've got to muddy my thinking with exceptions.


Quote: A lot of people were opposed to it.
A lot of people were for it.
I myself think about it 
as little as possible. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

A lot of people were opposed to it.
A lot of people were for it.
I myself think about it
as little as possible.


Quote: My soul seemed as foul as smoke from burning cat fur. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

My soul seemed as foul as smoke from burning cat fur.


Quote: I was raised by a black maid by the name of Ida Young and I probably talked to her more than anybody, so whatever is nutty about me was nutty about her, too, I think because I saw a lot more of her than I did of my parents. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I was raised by a black maid by the name of Ida Young and I probably talked to her more than anybody, so whatever is nutty about me was nutty about her, too, I think because I saw a lot more of her than I did of my parents.


Quote: He became fubar in the classic way, which is to say that he was the victim of a temporary arrangement that became permanent. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

He became fubar in the classic way, which is to say that he was the victim of a temporary arrangement that became permanent.


Quote: The late twentieth century will go down in history, i'm sure, as an era of pharmaceutical buffoonery. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The late twentieth century will go down in history, i'm sure, as an era of pharmaceutical buffoonery.


Quote: There is this feeling that I have a destiny far away from the shallow and preposterous posing that is our life. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

There is this feeling that I have a destiny far away from the shallow and preposterous posing that is our life.


Quote: Men are jerks. Women are psychotic. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Men are jerks. Women are psychotic.


Quote: I think it can be tremendously refreshing if a creator of literature has something on his mind other than the history of literature so far. Literature should not disappear up its own asshole, so to speak. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I think it can be tremendously refreshing if a creator of literature has something on his mind other than the history of literature so far. Literature should not disappear up its own asshole, so to speak.


Quote: No one can amount to a damn in the arts if he becomes sweetly reasonable, seeing all sides of a picture, forgiving all sins. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

No one can amount to a damn in the arts if he becomes sweetly reasonable, seeing all sides of a picture, forgiving all sins.


Quote: It seems to me that the most universal revolutionary wish now or ever is a wish for heaven, a wish by a human being to be honored by angels for something other than beauty or usefulness. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

It seems to me that the most universal revolutionary wish now or ever is a wish for heaven, a wish by a human being to be honored by angels for something other than beauty or usefulness.


Quote: He hadn't had the satisfaction of telling someone he'd quit, of being believed; but he'd quit. Goodbye. None of this had anything to do with him anymore. Better to be nothing than a blind doorman at the head of civilization's parade. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

He hadn't had the satisfaction of telling someone he'd quit, of being believed; but he'd quit. Goodbye. None of this had anything to do with him anymore. Better to be nothing than a blind doorman at the head of civilization's parade.


Quote: Do I resent rich people? No. The best or worst I can do is notice them. I agree with the great Socialist writer George Orwell, who felt that rich people were poor people with money. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Do I resent rich people? No. The best or worst I can do is notice them. I agree with the great Socialist writer George Orwell, who felt that rich people were poor people with money.


Quote: It is always pitiful when any human being falls into a condition hardly more respectable than that of an animal. How much more pitiful it is when the person who falls has had all the advantages! by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

It is always pitiful when any human being falls into a condition hardly more respectable than that of an animal. How much more pitiful it is when the person who falls has had all the advantages!


Quote: And somebody might now want to ask me, Can't you ever be serious? The answer is, No. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

And somebody might now want to ask me, Can't you ever be serious? The answer is, No.


Quote: Now, the engineers and managers believe with all their hearts the glorious things their forebears hired people to say about them. Yesterday's snow job becomes today's sermon. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Now, the engineers and managers believe with all their hearts the glorious things their forebears hired people to say about them. Yesterday's snow job becomes today's sermon.


Quote: The mountebank told them that God was surely trying to kill them, possibly because He was through with them, and that they should have the good manners to die. This, as you can see, they did. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The mountebank told them that God was surely trying to kill them, possibly because He was through with them, and that they should have the good manners to die. This, as you can see, they did.


Quote: I might have been vaguely inclined to dismiss the stone angel as meaningless, and to go from there to the meaninglessness of all. But after I saw what Krebbs had done, in particular what he had done to my sweet cat, nihilism was not for me. Somebody or something did not wish me to be a nihilist. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote: I might have been vaguely inclined to dismiss the stone angel as meaningless, and to go from there to the meaninglessness of all. But after I saw what Krebbs had done, in particular what he had done to my sweet cat, nihilism was not for me. Somebody or something did not wish me to be a nihilist.- black text on quotes background

I might have been vaguely inclined to dismiss the stone angel as meaningless, and to go from there to the meaninglessness of all. But after I saw what Krebbs had done, in particular what he had done to my sweet cat, nihilism was not for me. Somebody or something did not wish me to be a nihilist.


Quote: And we all vied, in saving face, to be the greatest student of human nature, the person with the quickest sense of humor. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

And we all vied, in saving face, to be the greatest student of human nature, the person with the quickest sense of humor.


Quote: Everybody who is alive is a survivor, and everybody who is dead isn't, I said.So everybody alive must have the Survivor's Syndrome. It's that or death. I am so damn sick of people telling me proudly that they are survivors! by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Everybody who is alive is a survivor, and everybody who is dead isn't, I said.So everybody alive must have the Survivor's Syndrome. It's that or death. I am so damn sick of people telling me proudly that they are survivors!


Quote: Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.


Quote: The highest treason in the USA is to say Americans are not loved, no matter where they are, no matter what they are doing there. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The highest treason in the USA is to say Americans are not loved, no matter where they are, no matter what they are doing there.


Quote: Jack Benny, Fred Allen. Their jokes were wonderful. It takes skill to be funny. The timing of Jack Benny was so fine. It is a form of genius for which we should be grateful. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Jack Benny, Fred Allen. Their jokes were wonderful. It takes skill to be funny. The timing of Jack Benny was so fine. It is a form of genius for which we should be grateful.


Quote: I can still remember what I was like when I was sixteen. It was hell to be that excited. Then as now, orgasms gave no relief. Ten minutes after an orgasm, guess what? Nothing would do but that you have another one. And there was homework besides! by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I can still remember what I was like when I was sixteen. It was hell to be that excited. Then as now, orgasms gave no relief. Ten minutes after an orgasm, guess what? Nothing would do but that you have another one. And there was homework besides!


Quote: The Bible may be the Greatest Story Ever Told, but the most popular story you can ever tell is about a good-looking couple having a really swell time copulating outside wedlock, and having to quit for one reason or another while doing it is still a novelty. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The Bible may be the Greatest Story Ever Told, but the most popular story you can ever tell is about a good-looking couple having a really swell time copulating outside wedlock, and having to quit for one reason or another while doing it is still a novelty.


Quote: I am the victim of a fortunate series of accidents. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I am the victim of a fortunate series of accidents.


Quote: It distresses me deeply that ideas are not to be circulated freely in the USA if certain persons have their way. One of the things that was great about this country was that I could say anything and that everyone else could say anything and we would compare all possible ideas and arrive at opinions. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote: It distresses me deeply that ideas are not to be circulated freely in the USA if certain persons have their way. One of the things that was great about this country was that I could say anything and that everyone else could say anything and we would compare all possible ideas and arrive at opinions.- black text on quotes background

It distresses me deeply that ideas are not to be circulated freely in the USA if certain persons have their way. One of the things that was great about this country was that I could say anything and that everyone else could say anything and we would compare all possible ideas and arrive at opinions.


Quote: You are being suffocated by tradition... Why don't you say, 'I am going to build a life for myself, for my time, and make it a work of art'? Your life isn't a work of art -- -it's a thirdhand Victorian whatnot shelf, complete with someone else's collection of seashells and hand-carved elephants. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote: You are being suffocated by tradition... Why don't you say, 'I am going to build a life for myself, for my time, and make it a work of art'? Your life isn't a work of art -- -it's a thirdhand Victorian whatnot shelf, complete with someone else's collection of seashells and hand-carved elephants.- black text on quotes background

You are being suffocated by tradition... Why don't you say, 'I am going to build a life for myself, for my time, and make it a work of art'? Your life isn't a work of art -- -it's a thirdhand Victorian whatnot shelf, complete with someone else's collection of seashells and hand-carved elephants.


Quote: In Vietnam, though, I really was the mastermind. Yes, and that still bothers me. During my last year there, when my ammunition was language instead of bullets, I invented justifications for all the killing and dying we were doing which impressed even me! I was a genius of lethal hocus pocus. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote: In Vietnam, though, I really was the mastermind. Yes, and that still bothers me. During my last year there, when my ammunition was language instead of bullets, I invented justifications for all the killing and dying we were doing which impressed even me! I was a genius of lethal hocus pocus.- black text on quotes background

In Vietnam, though, I really was the mastermind. Yes, and that still bothers me. During my last year there, when my ammunition was language instead of bullets, I invented justifications for all the killing and dying we were doing which impressed even me! I was a genius of lethal hocus pocus.


Quote: Sculptors feel that somebody else is using their hands, that they couldn't possibly be doing this. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Sculptors feel that somebody else is using their hands, that they couldn't possibly be doing this.






Quote: My own feeling is that if adultery is wickedness then so is food. Both make me feel so much better afterward. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

My own feeling is that if adultery is wickedness then so is food. Both make me feel so much better afterward.


Quote: A lack of seriousness has led to all sorts of wonderful insights. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

A lack of seriousness has led to all sorts of wonderful insights.


Quote: They tell him that there is no why, since the moment simply is and since all of them are trapped in the moment, like bugs in amber. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

They tell him that there is no why, since the moment simply is and since all of them are trapped in the moment, like bugs in amber.


Quote: Thanks to their decreased brainpower, people aren't diverted from the main business of life by the hobgoblins of opinion anymore. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Thanks to their decreased brainpower, people aren't diverted from the main business of life by the hobgoblins of opinion anymore.


Quote: His mother understood my illness immediately, that it was my world rather than myself that was diseased. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

His mother understood my illness immediately, that it was my world rather than myself that was diseased.


Quote: I am better now. Word of honour: I am better now. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I am better now. Word of honour: I am better now.


Quote: I'm wild again, beguiled again, a whimpering, simpering child again. Bewitched, bothered, bewildered am I. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I'm wild again, beguiled again, a whimpering, simpering child again. Bewitched, bothered, bewildered am I.


Quote: The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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


Quote: The other American divisions on our flanks managed to pull out: We were obliged to stay and fight. Bayonets aren't much good against tanks. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The other American divisions on our flanks managed to pull out: We were obliged to stay and fight. Bayonets aren't much good against tanks.


Quote: Listen. All great literature is about what a bummer it is to be a human being. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Listen. All great literature is about what a bummer it is to be a human being.




Quote: 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? by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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?


Quote: But anyway, it's obvious through human experience that extended families and tribes are terribly important. We can do without an extended family as human beings about as easily as we can do without vitamins or essential minerals. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

But anyway, it's obvious through human experience that extended families and tribes are terribly important. We can do without an extended family as human beings about as easily as we can do without vitamins or essential minerals.


Quote: You cannot be a good writer of serious fiction if you are not depressed. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

You cannot be a good writer of serious fiction if you are not depressed.


Quote: 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. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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.


Quote: The complicated futility of ignorance. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The complicated futility of ignorance.


Quote: And I say to Sam now: Sam -- here's the book. 
It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

And I say to Sam now: Sam -- here's the book.
It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre.


Quote: The human beings also passed canteens, which guards would fill with water. When food came in, the human beings were quiet and trusting and beautiful. They shared. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The human beings also passed canteens, which guards would fill with water. When food came in, the human beings were quiet and trusting and beautiful. They shared.


Quote: You know, I think the main purpose of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps is to get poor Americans into clean, pressed, unpatched clothes, so rich Americans can stand to look at them. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

You know, I think the main purpose of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps is to get poor Americans into clean, pressed, unpatched clothes, so rich Americans can stand to look at them.


Quote: That's what is was to be young -- to be enthusiastic rather than envious about the good work other people could do. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

That's what is was to be young -- to be enthusiastic rather than envious about the good work other people could do.




Quote: You are better than you think. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

You are better than you think.


Quote: The biggest laughs are based on the biggest disappointments and the biggest fears. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The biggest laughs are based on the biggest disappointments and the biggest fears.


Quote: On Tralfamadore, says Billy Pilgrim, there isn't much interest in Jesus Christ. The Earthling figure who is most engaging to the Tralfamadorian mind, he says, is Charles Darwin -- who taught that those who die are meant to die, that corpses are improvements. So it goes. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote; white text on black background

On Tralfamadore, says Billy Pilgrim, there isn't much interest in Jesus Christ. The Earthling figure who is most engaging to the Tralfamadorian mind, he says, is Charles Darwin -- who taught that those who die are meant to die, that corpses are improvements. So it goes.


Quote: What I would really like to have been, given a perfect world, is a jazz pianist. I mean jazz. I don't mean rock and roll. I mean the never-the-same-twice music the American black people gave the world. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

What I would really like to have been, given a perfect world, is a jazz pianist. I mean jazz. I don't mean rock and roll. I mean the never-the-same-twice music the American black people gave the world.


Quote: The big show is inside my head. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The big show is inside my head.


Quote: I can have oodles of charm when I want to. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I can have oodles of charm when I want to.


Quote: The arts are not a way to make a living. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The arts are not a way to make a living.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

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


Quote: Ideas on earth were badges of friendship or enimity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enimity. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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


Quote: The canary bird in the coal mine theory of the arts: artists should be treasured as alarm systems. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The canary bird in the coal mine theory of the arts: artists should be treasured as alarm systems.


Quote: Man is vile, and man makes nothing worth making, knows nothing worth knowing. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Man is vile, and man makes nothing worth making, knows nothing worth knowing.


Quote: Pay no attention to Caesar. Caesar doesn't have the slightest idea what's really going on. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Pay no attention to Caesar. Caesar doesn't have the slightest idea what's really going on.


Quote: She hated people who thought too much. At that moment, she struck me as an appropriate representative for almost all mankind. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

She hated people who thought too much. At that moment, she struck me as an appropriate representative for almost all mankind.


Quote: Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind.


Quote: I beg you to believe the most ridiculous superstition of all: that humanity is at the center of the universe, the fulfiller or frustrateor of the grandest dreams of God Almighty. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I beg you to believe the most ridiculous superstition of all: that humanity is at the center of the universe, the fulfiller or frustrateor of the grandest dreams of God Almighty.


Quote: Man created the checkerboard; God created the karass. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Man created the checkerboard; God created the karass.


Quote: It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that man can always solve his problems ... This is so untrue that it makes me want to cry-or laugh. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that man can always solve his problems ... This is so untrue that it makes me want to cry-or laugh.


Quote: As for myself: I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing sacred about myself or about any human being, that we were all machines, doomed to collide and collide and collide. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

As for myself: I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing sacred about myself or about any human being, that we were all machines, doomed to collide and collide and collide.


Quote: He had no idea that people thought he was clowning. It was Fate, of course, which had costumed him -- Fate, and a feeble will to survive. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

He had no idea that people thought he was clowning. It was Fate, of course, which had costumed him -- Fate, and a feeble will to survive.


Quote: It is harder to be unhappy when you are eating. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

It is harder to be unhappy when you are eating.


Quote: I saw the destruction of Dresden. I saw the city before and then came out of an air-raid shelter and saw it afterward, and certainly one response was laughter. God knows, that's the soul seeking some relief. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I saw the destruction of Dresden. I saw the city before and then came out of an air-raid shelter and saw it afterward, and certainly one response was laughter. God knows, that's the soul seeking some relief.


Quote: Vonnegut could not help looking back, despite the danger of being turned metaphorically into a pillar of salt, into am emblem of the death that comes to those who cannot let go of the past. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Vonnegut could not help looking back, despite the danger of being turned metaphorically into a pillar of salt, into am emblem of the death that comes to those who cannot let go of the past.


Quote: I go on many thrilling adventures and wondrous, profound escapades through books. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I go on many thrilling adventures and wondrous, profound escapades through books.


Quote: Whenever my children complain about the planet to me, I say 'Shut up, I just got here myself.' by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Whenever my children complain about the planet to me, I say 'Shut up, I just got here myself.'




Quote: I am a very bad scientist. I will do anything to make a human being feel better, even if it's unscientific. No scientist worthy of the name could say such a thing. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I am a very bad scientist. I will do anything to make a human being feel better, even if it's unscientific. No scientist worthy of the name could say such a thing.


Quote: What do my science fiction stories have in common with pornography? Fantasies of an impossibly hospitable world, I'm told. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

What do my science fiction stories have in common with pornography? Fantasies of an impossibly hospitable world, I'm told.


Quote: I still catch myself feeling sad about things that don't matter anymore. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I still catch myself feeling sad about things that don't matter anymore.


Quote: In the middle of Siberia I guess there's a lake that big like the Great Lakes, but there are practically no other lakes that big with fresh water. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

In the middle of Siberia I guess there's a lake that big like the Great Lakes, but there are practically no other lakes that big with fresh water.


Quote: There's a Chaplain who never visited the front. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

There's a Chaplain who never visited the front.


Quote: 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. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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.


Quote: With words alone, Gail Godwin has created an important piece of music about a love which death can only increase and deepen. Yes, and Frances Halsband's illustrations are a haunting countermelody. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

With words alone, Gail Godwin has created an important piece of music about a love which death can only increase and deepen. Yes, and Frances Halsband's illustrations are a haunting countermelody.


Quote: I would not be interested in writing if I didn't feel that what I wrote was an act of good citizenship or an attempt, at any rate, to be a good citizen. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I would not be interested in writing if I didn't feel that what I wrote was an act of good citizenship or an attempt, at any rate, to be a good citizen.


Quote: I taught writing for a while and whenever somebody would tell me they were going to write about their dad, I would tell them they might as well go write about killing puppies because neither story was going to work. It just doesn't work. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I taught writing for a while and whenever somebody would tell me they were going to write about their dad, I would tell them they might as well go write about killing puppies because neither story was going to work. It just doesn't work.


Quote: Or they'll talk about fear, which we used to call politics- job politics, social politics, government politics. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Or they'll talk about fear, which we used to call politics- job politics, social politics, government politics.


Quote: My god-life! who can understand eve one little minute of it? 'don't try' he said 'just pretend you understand. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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


Quote: He was seemingly born not only with a gift for language, but with a particularly nasty clock which makes him go crazy every three years or so. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

He was seemingly born not only with a gift for language, but with a particularly nasty clock which makes him go crazy every three years or so.


Quote: My definition of a man's man is a man who knows gun safety, and we all did. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

My definition of a man's man is a man who knows gun safety, and we all did.


Quote: If your brains were dynamite there wouldn't be enough to blow your hat off. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

If your brains were dynamite there wouldn't be enough to blow your hat off.


Quote: Some persons seem to like you, and others seem to hate you, and you must wonder why. They are simply liking machines and hating machines. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Some persons seem to like you, and others seem to hate you, and you must wonder why. They are simply liking machines and hating machines.


Quote: I think William Shakespeare was the wisest human being I ever heard of. To be perfectly frank, though, that's not saying much. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I think William Shakespeare was the wisest human being I ever heard of. To be perfectly frank, though, that's not saying much.


Quote: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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






Quote: I'm so sorry -- we had this cottage up in Lake Maxinkuckee, in Culver. I've thought so often of the poor Pottawattomies we took this land away from. They must have loved it so. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I'm so sorry -- we had this cottage up in Lake Maxinkuckee, in Culver. I've thought so often of the poor Pottawattomies we took this land away from. They must have loved it so.


Quote: The hopes and fears of all our years are here with us tonight. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

The hopes and fears of all our years are here with us tonight.


Quote: In the water I am beautiful. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

In the water I am beautiful.


Quote: And, if you'll investigate the history of science, my dear boy, I think you'll find that most of the really big ideas have come from intelligent playfulness. All the sober, thin-lipped concentration is really just a matter of tidying up around the fringes of the big ideas. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote; white text on black background

And, if you'll investigate the history of science, my dear boy, I think you'll find that most of the really big ideas have come from intelligent playfulness. All the sober, thin-lipped concentration is really just a matter of tidying up around the fringes of the big ideas.


Quote: I love you, because the love you gave me was the only love I've ever had, the only love I ever will have. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I love you, because the love you gave me was the only love I've ever had, the only love I ever will have.




Quote: Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgment Day: We never asked to be born in the first place. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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




Quote: I hate it that Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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


Quote: Our classes were relatively small. Those small classes can feel like family. After a class in French or chemistry or whatever, we'd be talking in the halls about what we just learned. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Our classes were relatively small. Those small classes can feel like family. After a class in French or chemistry or whatever, we'd be talking in the halls about what we just learned.


Quote: 1. Find a subject you care about. 
 2. Do not ramble, though. 
 3. Keep it simple. 
 4. Have the guts to cut. 
 5. Sound like yourself. 
 6. Say what you mean to say. 
 7. Pity the readers. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

1. Find a subject you care about.
2. Do not ramble, though.
3. Keep it simple.
4. Have the guts to cut.
5. Sound like yourself.
6. Say what you mean to say.
7. Pity the readers.




Quote: I can see where influential people would like Maharishi better than Jesus. My God, if the Beatles and Mia Farrow went to Jesus, He'd tell them to give all their money away. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I can see where influential people would like Maharishi better than Jesus. My God, if the Beatles and Mia Farrow went to Jesus, He'd tell them to give all their money away.


Quote: A lover's a liar,
To himself he lies,
The truthful are loveless,
Like oysters their eyes! by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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


Quote: As stupid and vicious as men are, this is a lovely day. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

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


Quote: On the day they dropped the bomb Frank had a tablespoon and a Mason jar. What he was doing was spooning different kinds of bugs into the jar and making them fight....I can remember other bug fights we staged later on...They won't fight unless you keep shaking the jar. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of Kurt Vonnegut quote; white text on black background

On the day they dropped the bomb Frank had a tablespoon and a Mason jar. What he was doing was spooning different kinds of bugs into the jar and making them fight....I can remember other bug fights we staged later on...They won't fight unless you keep shaking the jar.


Quote: Educate yourself, welcome life's messiness, read Chekhov, avoid becoming an architect at all costs. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

Educate yourself, welcome life's messiness, read Chekhov, avoid becoming an architect at all costs.


Quote: I love cell phones. I see people so happy and proud, walking around. Gesturing, you know. I'm like Karl Marx, I'm up for anything that makes people happy. by author Kurt Vonnegut overlaid on photo of photo of author Kurt Vonnegut with quote

I love cell phones. I see people so happy and proud, walking around. Gesturing, you know. I'm like Karl Marx, I'm up for anything that makes people happy.