Eighteen Great Kurt Vonnegut Quotes

Breakfast of Champions

To be
the eyes
and ears
and conscience
of the Creator of the Universe,
you fool.

Kilgore Trout’s unwritten reply to the question “What is the purpose of life?”

Cat’s Cradle

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.

Slaughterhouse 5

So it goes


Any creation which has any wholeness and harmoniousness, I suspect, was made by an artist or inventor with an audience of one in mind.


And if an artist wants to really jack up the prices of his creations, may I suggest this: suicide.”

Breakfast of Champions

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.

Cat’s Cradle

Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.

Address to Bennington College 1970

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.”


History is merely a list of surprises. … It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again. Please write that down.


Why so many of us a million years ago purposely knocked out major chunks of our brains with alcohol from time to time remains an interesting mystery. It may be we were trying to give evolution a shove in the right direction — in the direction of smaller brains.


Time is liquid. One moment is no more important than any other and all moments quickly run away.

Hocus Pocus

I think William Shakespeare was the wisest human being I ever heard of. To be perfectly frank, though, that’s not saying much. We are impossibly conceited animals, and actually dumb as heck. Ask any teacher. You don’t even have to ask a teacher. Ask anybody. Dogs and cats are smarter than we are.

Cold Turkey

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.

Man Without a Country

My last words? “Life is no way to treat an animal, not even a mouse.”

Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons

This theory argues that artists are useful to society because they are so sensitive. They are supersensitive. They keel over like canaries in coal mines filled with poison gas, long before more robust types realize that any danger is there.


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

The War Between Writers and Reviewers

As for literary criticism in general: I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split.


Make love when you can. It’s good for you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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