The wit and wisdom of Kurt Vonnegut
10:51 PM PDT, April 11, 2007
"When I think about my own death, I don't console myself with the idea that my descendants and my books and all that will live on. Anybody with any sense knows that the whole solar system will go up like a celluloid collar by-and-by. I honestly believe, though, that we are wrong to think that moments go away, never to be seen again. This moment and every moment lasts forever."— "Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons," 1974.
" ... when a society is in great danger, [writers are] likely to sound the alarms. I have the canary-bird-in-the-coal-mine theory of the arts. You know, coal miners used to take birds down into the mines with them to detect gas before men got sick. The artists certainly did that in the case of Vietnam. They chirped and keeled over. But it made no difference whatsoever. Nobody important cared. But I continue to think that artists — all artists — should be treasured as alarm systems."— Playboy interview, 1973
"You cannot be a good writer of serious fiction if you are not depressed."— Undated speech to the American Psychiatric Assn.
"I do think ... that public speaking is almost the only way a poet or a novelist or a playwright can have any political effectiveness in his creative prime. If he tries to put his politics into a work of the imagination, he will foul up his work beyond all recognition."— "Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons," 1974
"Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn't well-connected."— "Slaughterhouse-Five," 1969
"The main business of humanity is to do a good job of being human beings, not to serve as appendages to machines, institutions, and systems."— "Player Piano," 1952
"Poverty is a relatively mild disease ... but uselessness will kill strong and weak souls alike."— "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater," 1965.
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."— "Mother Night," 1962
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