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Kurt Vonnegut Quotes

28 of the best book quotes from Kurt Vonnegut
  1. #1
    It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor.
  2. #2
    There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.
  3. #3
    Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue.
  4. #4
    Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold.
  5. #5
    I have this disease late at night sometimes, involving alcohol and the telephone.
  6. #6
    Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.
  7. #7
    And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.
  1. #8
    All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist.
  2. #9
    How nice -- to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
  3. #10
    America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves.
  4. #11
    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.
  5. #12
    The nicest veterans...the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who’d really fought.
  6. #13
    That’s one thing Earthlings might learn to do, if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times and concentrate on the good ones.
  7. #14
    Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.

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  1. #15
    And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes.
  2. #16
    This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times.
  3. #17
    Trout, incidentally, had written a book about a money tree. It had twenty-dollar bills for leaves. Its flowers were government bonds. Its fruit was diamonds. It attracted human beings who killed each other around the roots and made very good fertilizer.
  4. #18
    It is just an illusion here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever.
  5. #19
    Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
  6. #20
    They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves.
  7. #21
    I think you guys are going to have to come up with a lot of wonderful new lies, or people just aren’t going to want to go on living.
  1. #22
    Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money.
  2. #23
    “Salo did not question the good sense of his errand, since he was, like all Tralfamadorians, a machine. As a machine, he had to do what he was supposed to do.”
  3. #24
    “Once upon a time on Tralfamadore there were creatures who weren’t anything like machines. They weren’t dependable. They weren’t efficient. They weren’t predictable. They weren’t durable. And these poor creatures were obsessed by the idea that everything that existed had to have a purpose, and that some purposes were higher than others.
    These creatures spent most of their time trying to find out what their purpose was. And every time they found out what seemed to be a purpose of themselves, the purpose seemed so low that the creatures were filled with disgust and shame.”
  4. #25
    ″ ‘There it is—friend,’ he said to his memory of Rumfoord, ‘and much consolation may it give you, Skip. Much pain it cost your old friend Salo. In order to give it to you—even too late—your old friend Salo had to make war against the core of his being, against the very nature of being a machine.’ ”
  5. #26
    “You asked the impossible of a machine...and the machine complied.”
  6. #27
    “At the hospital they even had to explain to Unk that there was a radio antenna under the crown of his skull, and that it would hurt him whenever he did something a good soldier wouldn’t ever do. The antenna also would give him orders and furnish drum music to march to. They said that not just Unk but everybody had an antenna like that—doctors and nurses and four-star generals included. It was a very democratic army, they said.”
  7. #28
    “His system was so idiotically simple that some people can’t understand it, no matter how often it is explained. The people who can’t understand it are people who have to believe, for their own peace of mind, that tremendous wealth can be produced only by tremendous cleverness.”

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