Kurt Vonnegut (born November 11, 1922, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. – died April 11, 2007, New York, New York, U.S.) was an American novelist, satirist, and graphic artist.
He is known for his humanistic point of view and satirical literary style, which blends satire, black comedy and science fiction.
Vonnegut’s work consists of 14 novels, five plays, five works of non-fiction, and three short story collections. Most popular are Player Piano (1952), Cat’s Cradle (1963), Breakfast of Champions (1973), and his best-selling novel Slaughterhouse-Five (1969).
Vonnegut was a lifelong supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union and recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion, to the futility of thinking and striving anymore. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.Palm Sunday (1981)
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.Mother Night (1961)
We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.A Man Without a Country (2005)
The good Earth — we could have saved it, but we were too damn cheap and lazy..A Man Without a Country (2005)
If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind.Player Piano (1962)
Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.Cat's Cradle (1963)
There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Maffia.The Sirens of Titan (1959), William Niles Rumfoord
New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.Cat's Cradle (1963)
If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don’t need an enemy.Letter to Ladies & Gentlemen of A.D. 2088, TIME (1988)
Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.Cat's Cradle (1963)
One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.'Cold Turkey,' In These Times (May 10, 2004)
A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.The Sirens of Titan (1959)
The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.A Man Without a Country (2005)
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.Player Piano (1962)
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.Playboy Interview by David Standish (July 1973)
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.As quoted in The Observer, London (December 27, 1987)
Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn’t mean we deserve to conquer the Universe.Hocus Pocus (1990)
I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.Palm Sunday (1981)
No art is possible without a dance with death.Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death (1969)
Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enmity.Breakfast of Champions (1973)
Anybody who has traveled this far on a fool’s errand, has no choice but to uphold the honor of fools by completing the errand.The Sirens of Titan (1959)
There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death (1969)
We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.Breakfast of Champions (1973), Kilgore Trout's epitaph
Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.A Man Without a Country (2005)