Kurt Vonnegut Quotes (234 Quotes)






    You'll forget it when you're dead, and so will I. When I'm dead, I'm going to forget everything-and I advise you to do the same.




    The book was Maniacs in the Fourth Dimension, by Kilgore Trout. It was about people whose mental diseases couldn't be treated because the causes of the diseases were all in the fourth dimension, and three-dimensional Earthling doctors couldn't see those causes at all, or even imagine them.

    Trout, incidentally, had written a book about a money tree. It had twenty-dollar bills for leaves. Its flowers were government bonds. Its fruit was diamonds. It attracted human beings who killed each other around the roots and made very good fertilizer.

    I found me a place where I can do good without doing any harm, and I can see I'm doing good, and them I'm doing good for know I'm doing it, and they love me, Unk, as best they can. I found me a home.

    Unk, standing at a porthole, wept quietly. He was weeping for love, for family, for friendship, for truth, for civilization. The things he wept for were all abstractions, since his memory could furnish few faces or artifacts with which his imagination might fashion a passion play.


    So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too.

    But people didn't have to pay as much attention to the awful truth. As the living legend of the cruel tyrant in the city and the gentle holy man in the jungle grew, so, too, did the happiness of the people grow. They were all employed full time as actors in a play they understood, that any human being anywhere could understand and applaud.


    All people are insane. They will do anything at any time, and God help anybody who looks for reasons.




    Trout's leading robot looked like a human being, and could talk and dance and so on, and go out with girls. And nobody held it against him that he dropped jellied gasoline on people. But they found his halitosis unforgivable. But then he cleared that up, and he was welcomed to the human race.


    When you get right down to it, everybody's having a perfectly lousy time of it, and I mean everyone. And the hell of it is, nothing seems to help much.




    Nothing is generous. New knowledge is a valuable commodity. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we are.

    Dear Friends: As one who has experimented extensively with life in the home and community, using real people in true-life situations, I doubt that any playthings could prepare a child for one millionth of what is going to hit him in the teeth, ready or not.


    It is just an illusion here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever.

    The city was blacked out because bombers might come, so Billy didn't get to see Dresden do one of the most cheerful things a city can do when the sun goes down, which is to wink its lights on one by one.

    We went to the New York World's Fair, saw what the past had been like, according to the Ford Motor Car Company and Walt Disney, saw what the future would be like, according to General Motors. And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.

    In short, on the basis of horse sense and the best scientific information, there was nothing good to be said for the exploration of space. The time was long past when one nation could seem more glorious than another by hurling some heavy object into nothingness.

    You are going to do this voluntarily, Mr. Constant, so that the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent can have a drama of dignified self-sacrifice to remember and ponder through all time.

    He wanted to talk to them, if he could, to discover whether they had truths about life which he had never heard before. Here is what he hoped new truths might do for him: enable him to laugh at his troubles, to go on living, and to keep out of the North Wing of the Midland County General Hospital, which was for lunatics.



    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.


    Billy's smile as he came out of the shrubbery was at least as peculiar as Mona Lisa's, for he was simultaneously on foot in Germany in 1944 and riding his Cadillac in 1967.

    It is so short and jumbled and jangled because there is nothing intelligent to say after a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead...everything is supposed to be very quiet...and it always is, except for the birds.

    The dog, who had sounded so ferocious in the winter distances, was a female German Shepherd. She was shivering. Her tail was between her legs. She had been borrowed that morning from a farmer. She had never been to war before. She had no idea what game was being played. Her name was Princess.

    What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at once.There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. When seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep.

    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!





    Future civilizations - better civilizations than this one - are going to judge all men by the extent to which they've been artists. You and I, if some future archaeologist finds our works miraculously preserved in some city dump, will be judged by the quality of our creations. Nothing else about us will matter.

    Earthlings are the great explainers, explaining why this event is structured as it is, telling how other events may be achieved or avoided.



    More Kurt Vonnegut Quotations (Based on Topics)


    People - Time - World - War & Peace - Life - God - Man - Mind - Friendship - America - Wisdom & Knowledge - Thought & Thinking - Enemy - Beauty - Hell - Love - Books - Name - Education - View All Kurt Vonnegut Quotations

    More Kurt Vonnegut Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Breakfast of Champions
    - Cat's Cradle
    - Mother Night
    - Slaughterhouse-Five
    - The Sirens of Titan

    Related Authors


    Helen Keller - Brian Tracy - Aesop - Michael Crichton - Mary Higgins Clark - John Gray - Jane Roberts - Emily Post - Charles Bukowski - Alvin Toffler


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