Kurt Vonnegut

20 Kurt Vonnegut Quotes to Bring You Closer to Humanity

If you know me, you know I’m a little into Kurt Vonnegut. Call it childhood nostalgia or a deep-seated sense of realism or even call it nihilism, but I love the dude. He’s got this sense of wonder while being incredibly grounded in reality and it’s something that’s stuck with me since I was twelve-years-old. So for your benefit, here are twenty of my favorite Vonnegut-isms.


1. “No good at life, but very funny sometimes with the commentary.”


2. “Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.”


3. “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”


4. “If you want to really hurt your 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 possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”


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


6. “Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, ‘It might have been.’ “


7. “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.”


8. “Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”


9. “The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.”


10. “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.”


11. “I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.”


12. “Do you realize that all great literature is all about what a bummer it is to be a human being? Isn’t it such a relief to have somebody say that?”


13. “Live by the harmless untruths that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”


14. “I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, ‘The Beatles did’.”


15. “I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead.”


16. “The practice of art isn’t to make a living. It’s to make your soul grow.”


17. “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.”


18. “Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”


19. “If your brains were dynamite there wouldn’t be enough to blow your hat off.”


20. “She hated people who thought too much. At that moment, she struck me as an appropriate representative for almost all mankind.”


Featured image via The AV Club.