Top 10 Kurt Vonnegut Quotes
#10 - SWEET MIRACLE
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"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!"
Mother Night, 1961

#09 - CROWNING GLORY
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"I was taught that the human brain was the crowning glory of evolution so far, but I think it's a very poor scheme for survival."
—quoted in The Observer, December 27, 1987

#08 - CLOSE TO THE EDGE
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"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."
Player Piano, 1952

#07 - LIVING PROOF
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"There is no order in the world around us, we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead. It is hard to adapt to chaos, but it can be done. I am living proof of that: It can be done."
Breakfast of Champions, 1973

#06 - IGNORANCE
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"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way."
Cat's Cradle, 1963

#05 - A LITTLE MATH
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“Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the universe.”
Hocus Pocus, 1990

#04 - SCIENTIFIC TRUTH
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"I thought scientists were going to find out exactly how everything worked, and then make it work better. I fully expected that by the time I was twenty-one, some scientist, maybe my brother, would have taken a color photograph of God Almighty—and sold it to Popular Mechanics magazine. Scientific truth was going to make us so happy and comfortable. What actually happened when I was twenty-one was that we dropped scientific truth on Hiroshima."
—Bennington College address, 1970

#03 - MODERN TIMES
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"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."
—"Cold Turkey," In These Times, May 10, 2004

#02 - FRAUDS
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"Artists use frauds to make human beings seem more wonderful than they really are. Dancers show us human beings who move much more gracefully than human beings really move. Films and books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people really talk, make paltry human enterprises seem important. Singers and musicians show us human beings making sounds far more lovely than human beings really make. Architects give us temples in which something marvelous is obviously going on. Actually, practically nothing is going on."
—"When I Was Twenty-One," Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons, 1974

#01 - FULL CREDIT
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"How nice—to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive."
Slaughterhouse-Five, 1969

User Comments - Add a Comment
sue xian - 2008-04-04 22:07:01
Great collection. I haven't laughed out loud in a long time.
Jeff - 2008-04-04 22:07:01
"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." Peace!
Doc_Sax - 2008-04-05 16:46:15
And, quite possibly the most profound statement of the last hundred years, "You were sick, but now you're well again, and there's work to do." Kilgore's Maxim, Timequake
Alex - 2008-04-17 04:23:24
Two of my favorites: "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." - Cat's Cradle and of course: "So it Goes"
frank - 2008-04-17 19:04:04
one of my favorite. "I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all." -The Sirens of Titan
Matt - 2008-04-26 07:04:01
Every passing hour brings the Solar System forty-three thousand miles closer to Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules -- and still there are some misfits who insist that there is no such thing as progress.--in The Sirens of Titan
??? - 2008-05-08 19:07:54
Who is this VomitGut guy???
Dougal - 2008-06-17 13:28:25
An author. One of the great american heroes, ihat phrase is not an oxymoron.
Remnant - 2008-11-17 22:21:05

we are looking upon the work of a titan who not so long ago walked amongst us

JOHN P. HENRY - 2009-03-05 00:50:55

INTERESTING QUOTES UNFORTUNATELY HE WILL BE BEST REMEMBERED AS A ANTI-WAR NUT.

chris - 2009-04-05 20:40:16

how can you call vonnegut an anti-war nut? you are just as ignorant as the puppetmasters of war

lkern - 2009-07-25 06:14:13

A war nut? That's not even the tenth thing I think about when I think of Kurt Vonneget. None of his opinions on war were anything but exactly right.

The Killer Klown - 2009-07-26 01:33:56

Vonnegut advocates fighting in 'Harrison Bergeron' as well as other stories ive read by him. i can see how his cynical dark comedic writing can seem to be 'anti-war' but i think he beleives that if a human does not have their full range of emotions, including violence, then they are reduced to the robotic like figures in Harrison Bergeron. He beleives people need to fight for what they beleive in, there fore advocating violence.

David Ladd - 2009-08-05 15:33:37

Re: Anti War Nut - Wasn't KV a POW in Dresden when it was being firebombed?

munich - 2009-08-19 04:55:52

Excellent collection... I had to laugh like hell!

Nevermore - 2009-12-30 07:18:13

RE David Ladd. Yes, Vonnegut was in Dresden as a P.O.W. when the city was fire-bombed during WWII. He was in a basement built of stone - one of the relatively scarce survivors of that attack.

Lauren. - 2010-04-10 15:44:52

I agree that "so it goes" should definitely be on this list.

LPCzarenski - 2010-06-29 00:50:29

re:David Ladd yes he saw the firebombing and that is why he is anti-war

Monica - 2010-10-06 23:32:50

God made mud. God got lonesome. So God said to some of the mud, "Sit up!" "See all I've made," said God, "the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars." And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around. Lucky me, lucky mud.- Cat's Cradle

Thomas - 2010-11-14 08:30:01

Hmm... As I was turning the last pages of Cat's Cradle, the Jim Jones incident footage was hitting the national news. I still, to this day, feel a chill going down my back when I discuss the moment. Yes, the paperback was 10 years old, but it was new to me, and the coincidental moment was exceptional. Recommended reading about "beware of the charismatics". Yes, the quote may not be exact...

Shirley Girl - 2010-11-23 17:56:03

"I expected something pathological, but I did not expect the depth, the violence, and the almost intolerable beauty of the disease." - Cat's Cradle

epimoments - 2012-10-06 00:16:09

Unusual Travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god - book of Bokanon

NORMSTRADAMOS - 2013-10-11 17:46:05

to the end an beyond!a toast!thats all folks!remember that!?

Marq - 2015-04-04 15:27:27

I've personally come to the conclusion that a great Rock Band like the Stones, the Doors, the Beatles or Zeppelin is a Karas who found each other.