Authors — V

Quotations by Kurt Vonnegut

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.

Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.

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.

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.

Being American is to eat a lot of beef steak, and boy, we’ve got a lot more beef steak than any other country, and that’s why you ought to be glad you’re an American. And people have started looking at these big hunks of bloody meat on their plates, you know, and wondering what on earth they think they’re doing.

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before, Bokonon tells us. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.

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.

I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled “Science Fiction”… and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal.

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.

If somebody says, “I love you,” to me, I feel as though I had a pistol pointed at my head. What can anybody reply under such conditions but that which the pistol-holder requires? “I love you, too.”