Quotations by Vonnegut, Kurt, Jr.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007) American novelist, journalist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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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, Jr. (1922-2007) American novelist, journalist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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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 anywhere. “Blessed are the merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers: in the Pentagon? Give me a break!

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007) American novelist, journalist
A Man Without A Country, ch. 9 (2005)
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The Beatitudes (Matthew 5).
Added on 2-Apr-18 | Last updated 2-Apr-18
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Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007) American novelist, journalist
Hocus Pocus (1990)
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Added on 18-Aug-17 | Last updated 18-Aug-17
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We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007) American novelist, journalist
Mother Night
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have 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.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007) American novelist, journalist
Slaughterhouse-Five, ch. 2 (1969)
Added on 15-Jan-08 | Last updated 15-Jan-08
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But 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, Jr. (1922-2007) American novelist, journalist
Lecture
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Added on 24-Aug-17 | Last updated 24-Aug-17
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Most letters from a parent contain a parent’s own lost dreams disguised as good advice.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007) American novelist, journalist
Letter to his daughter, Nanny (1975)
Added on 4-Dec-12 | Last updated 4-Dec-12
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