15 Hillarious, Insightful & Moving Quotes by Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut is one of the few authors I discovered in high school and still love to this day. Perhaps the soul other is Orson Scott Card. There were other authors who I still think of fondly, some who even inspired me, but none who I feel compelled to revisit again and again, each time gaining something new.

Kurt Vonnegut’s books are amazing, insightful, hilarious, and moving. If you’ve never experienced Slaughter-House Five, Hocus Pocus, Cat’s Cradle, A Man Without a Country, or any other of his fantastic works, I highly encourage you to pick one up today. But before you do, scroll down to check out 15 examples of what make his books so great.

Here they are, 15 Hillarious, Insightful & Moving Quotes by Kurt Vonnegut

kurt vonnegut

1. From Mother Night

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

Mother Night

2. From Player Piano

“I want to stand 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

3. From A Man Without a Country

“And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.

So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.”

4. From A Man Without a Country

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

5. From The Sirens of Titan

“A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”

The Sirens of Titan

6. From A Man Without a Country

“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. 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. 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 possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

A Man Without a Country

7. From Slaughterhouse-Five

“How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.”

8. From Timequake

“Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.”


9. From 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.”

10. From Slaughterhouse-Five

“Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.”


11. From Welcome to the Monkey House

“A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.”

12. From Slapstick or Lonesome No More!

“If you can do no good, at least do no harm.”

Slapstick or Lonesome No More

13. From Cat’s Cradle

“Science is magic that works.”

14. From Jailbird

“You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too. And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.”

15. From Cat’s Cradle

“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.”

Cats Cradle lg


Loading Disqus Comments ...
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>