Kurt Vonnegut Quotes

Most popular Kurt Vonnegut Quotes

No art is possible without a dance with death.


Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.
— Kurt Vonnegut


We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.
— Kurt Vonnegut

earth environment

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
— Kurt Vonnegut
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
— Kurt Vonnegut


People don't come to church for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God.
— Kurt Vonnegut


The death of a library, any library, suggests that the community has lost its soul.


I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.
— Kurt Vonnegut


History is merely a list of surprises. . . It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.
— Kurt Vonnegut
High school is closer to the core of the American experience than anything else I can think of.
Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.

human nature

The primary benefit of practicing any art, whether well or badly, is that it enables one's soul to grow.
— Kurt Vonnegut


Maturity...is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.


Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind.


Fuller's cigar in the night was a beacon warning carefree, frivolous people away. It was plainly a cigar smoked in anger.

cigars Cigar

Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

writing advice

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.
— Kurt Vonnegut


Listen, there were creative writing teachers long before there were creative writing courses, and they were called and continue to be called editors.


First rule: Do not use semicolons.  They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.

writing advice punctuation

It seems to me that the most universal revolutionary wish now or ever is a wish for heaven, a wish by a human being to be honored by angels for something other than beauty or usefulness.


Find a subject you care about and which you feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.
— Kurt Vonnegut
And what gift of America to the rest of the world is actually most appreciated by the rest of the world? It is African American jazz and its offshoots. What is my definition of jazz?  "Safe sex of the highest order."


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 banana split.

critics reviews

I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled "Science Fiction" ever since [publishing his first works], and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal.

science fiction