Curated Quotes

The 36 Best Kurt Vonnegut Quotes

Tammy Lamoureux from

There are few men I enjoy quoting more than Kurt Vonnegut. Here is a collection of our favorite, most insightful, and inspirational Vonnegut quotes.

We decided not to include which book each quotes comes from. Instead we tried to create a sort of quotation mosaic absent of context in order to get a better view of the man himself. A simple Google search will identify the source.


Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’


Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

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

Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.

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

All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental.

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

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.

History is merely a list of surprises. … It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.


The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon.

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.

Wake up, you idiots! Whatever made you think that money was so valuable?

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.

I have this disease late at night sometimes, involving alcohol and the telephone.

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.

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


How embarrassing to be human.

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.

Freud said he didn’t know what women wanted. I know what women want. They want a whole lot of people to talk to.

So it goes.

People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they’ll have good voice boxes in case there’s ever anything really meaningful to say.

Humor is an almost physiological response to fear.


True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

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

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

Science is magic that works.

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

That is my principal objection to life, I think: It’s too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.

The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.

Make love when you can. It’s good for you.

Time is liquid. One moment is no more important than any other and all moments quickly run away.

Until you die… it’s all life.

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