Kurt Vonnegut quotes

  • Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Positive #Beautiful #Pain

  • Start [writing] as close to the end as possible.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Writing #Ends

  • We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Life #Happiness #Wisdom

  • 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.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Country #Usa #Ideas

  • 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

    #Writing #College #Creative

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

    #Funny #Country #Running

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

    #Thinking #People #Use

  • I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Want #Kind #Boldness

  • And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Love #Inspirational #Life

  • The more pain I train myself to stand, the more I learn. You are afraid of pain now, Unk, but you won't learn anything if you don't invite the pain. And the more you learn, the gladder you will be to stand the pain.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Pain #Train

  • When a man becomes a writer, I think he takes on a sacred obligation to produce beauty and enlighenment and comfort at top speed
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Thinking #Men #Comfort

  • I wish you'd help me look into a more interesting problem - namely, my sanity.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Interesting #Wish #Looks

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

    #Use #Way #Stranger

  • 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

    #Smile #Laughter #Frustration

  • Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Apology #Drunk #Society

  • If you want to break the rules of grammar, first learn the rules of grammar.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Want #Firsts #Break

  • Still and all, why bother? Here's my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Thinking #People #Messages

  • 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

    #Children #Truth #Pride

  • 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.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Writing #Pneumonia #Making Love

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

    #Love #Life #Inspiring

  • Hate, in the long run, is about as nourishing as cyanide.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Running #Hate #Long

  • The most damning revelation you can make about yourself is that you do not know what is interesting and what is not.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Writing #Interesting #Revelations

  • The waitress brought me another drink. She wanted to light my hurricane lamp again. I wouldn't let her. "Can you see anything in the dark, with your sunglasses on?" she asked me. "The big show is inside my head," I said.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Dark #Light #Hurricanes

  • Sometimes I wonder about the Creator of the Universe.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Sometimes #Wonder #Creator

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

    #Art #Practice #Follow Your Dreams

  • There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Angel #Memorable #Writing

  • The best jokes are dangerous, and dangerous because they are in some way truthful.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Humor #Way #Truthful

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

    #Giving #Earth Day #Environmental

  • Every sentence must do one of two things-reveal character or advance the action.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Writing #Character #Two

  • In an unmoored life like mine, sleep and hunger and work arrange themselves to suit themselves, without consulting me.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Sleep #Suits #Hunger

  • Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Sweet #Atheist #Crazy

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

    #Comforting #Comedian #Littles

  • 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

    #Motivational #Art #Work

  • Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round & wet & crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies-God damn it, you've got to be kind.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Summer #Baby #Hipster

  • 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

    #Memorable #Television #Modern

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

    #Men #Thinking #Fire

  • When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Writing #Humor #Men

  • When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away - even if it's only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Character #Writing #Glasses

  • Where do I get my ideas from? You might as well have asked that of Beethoven. He was goofing around in Germany like everybody else, and all of a sudden this stuff came gushing out of him. It was music. I was goofing around like everybody else in Indiana, and all of a sudden stuff came gushing out. It was disgust with civilization.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Ideas #Civilization #Stuff

  • My soul knows my meat is doing bad things, and is embarrassed. But my meat just keeps right on doing bad, dumb things.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Dumb #Soul #Meat

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

    #Two #Pieces #Guessing

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

    #Religious #Luck #Awful

  • Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Writing #Giving #Understanding

  • Americans... are forever searching for love in forms it never takes, in places it can never be. It must have something to do with the vanished frontier.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Forever #Searching For Love #Form

  • The only difference between Hitler and Bush is that Hitler was elected.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Differences #Political #Politics

  • All this happened, more or less.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Chaos

  • Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Life Changing #Trying #Literature

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

    #Art #Way #Bearable

  • Talent is extremely common. What is rare is the willingness to endure the life of the writer.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Work #Writing #Common

  • 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

    #Book #Eye #Eight

  • New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #New Beginnings #Earth #Commodity

  • 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

    #Grateful #Book #Might

  • Roses are red, And ready for plucking, You're sixteen, And ready for high school.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #School #Rose #Sixteen

  • Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Writing #Character #Glasses

  • Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Travel #Climbing #Dancing

  • Maturity, the way I understand it, is knowing what your limitations are.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Maturity #Knowing #Way

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

    #Music #Religious #Media

  • To be is to do - Socrates To do is to be - Sartre Do Be Do Be Do - Sinatra
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

  • I try to keep deep love out of my stories because, once that particular subject comes up, it is almost impossible to talk about anything else. Readers don't want to hear about anything else. They go gaga about love. If a lover in a story wins his true love, that's the end of the tale, even if World War III is about to begin, and the sky is black with flying saucers.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Love #War #Winning

  • Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?' Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Nature #Philosophy #Sleep

  • No art is possible without a dance with death.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Art #Art Is

  • The primary benefit of practicing any art, whether well or badly, is that it enables one's soul to grow.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Life #Art #Soul

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

    #Hurt #Art #Writing

  • The most exquisite pleasure in the practice of medicine comes from nudging a layman in the direction of terror, then bringing him back to safety again.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Practice #Medicine #Safety

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

    #Running #Time #Important

  • Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Funny #Sarcastic #Witty

  • I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Hipster #Religion #Different

  • They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Love One Another

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

    #Inspirational #Education #Teenager

  • The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Science #Mystery #Wonder

  • 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

    #Writing #Editors #Rejection

  • If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Nature #Thinking #People

  • It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Blessing #Literature

  • I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Insightful #Victim #Accidents

  • A saint is a person who behaves decently in a shockingly indecent society.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Saint #Behave #Persons

  • All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Memorable #Persons

  • We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Nature #Earth #Environment

  • The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Years #Equal

  • What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Lonely #Loneliness #Being Alone

  • Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Cancer #Lakes #Community

  • Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Time #Hipster #Amber

  • People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Meaningful #Communication #Voice

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

    #Astrology #Hands #People

  • Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter could be said to remedy anything.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Happiness #Laughter #Growing Up

  • If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Jobs #Work #Men

  • 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

    #Freedom #Writing #Perfect

  • You can't just eat good food. You've got to talk about it too. And you've got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Food #Fabulous #Kind

  • How nice -- to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Life #Nice #Numbness

  • Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Beautiful #Hurt #Chaos

  • You are better than you think. A-one, a-two a-three.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Thinking #Two #Three

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

    #War #Gun #Clothes

  • We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Life #Beautiful #Faith

  • When the last living thing Has died on account of us, How poetical it would be If Earth could say, In a voice floating up Perhaps From the floor Of the Grand Canyon, "It is done." People did not like it here.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Voice #People #Earth

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

    #Movie #Drama #Book

  • I asked this heroic pet lover how it felt to have died for a schnauzer named Teddy. Salvador Biagiani was philosophical. He said it sure beat dying for absolutely nothing in the Viet Nam War.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Dog #War #Philosophical

  • Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Wisdom #Philosophy #Amber

  • Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Writing #Stories #Radio

  • 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

    #Thinking #Turkeys #Environmental

  • If you can't write clearly, you probably don't think nearly as well as you think you do.
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

    #Writing #Thinking #Wells

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

    #Sex #Technology #Thinking