Kurt Vonnegut Quotes

On Writing

"What is literature but an insider's newsletter about affairs relating to molecules, of no importance to anything in the Universe but a few molecules who have the disease called 'thought'." Bluebeard

"Still and all, why bother[to write]? 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
don't care about them. You're not alone." Timequake

"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."

On Bush & Iraq

I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America's becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas." Cold Turkey

"Can I tell you the truth? I mean this isn’t like TV news, is it?
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. And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we’re hooked on." Cold Turkey

On Religion

"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquesting faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile."

"For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywher
e. "Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break!" Cold Turkey

"Anyone who cannot understand how a useful religion can be based on lies will not understand this book either." Cat's Cradle

"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." Hocus Pocus

"If there is a god, he sure hates people. That’s all I can say." -- Timequake

On Life

"I still believe that peace and plenty and happiness can be worked out some way. I am a fool
." Jailbird

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

On Nationalism

"1492. The teachers told the children that this was when their continent was discovered by human beings. Actually, millions of human beings were already living full and imaginative lives on the continent in 1492. That was simply the year in which sea pirates began to cheat and rob and kill them." Breakfast of Champions

"You hate America, don't you?" she said.
"That would be as silly as loving it," I said. "It's impossible for me to get emotional about it, because real estate doesn't interest me. It's no doubt a great flaw in my personality, but I can't think in terms of boundaries. Those imaginary lines are as unreal to me as elves and pixies. I can't believe that they mark the end or the beginning of anything of real concern to the human soul. Virtues and vices, pleasures and pains cross boundaries at will." Mother Night