I had a sea change in opinion about the works of Vonnegut. I read Slaughterhouse-5 and Cat’s Cradle whilst in high school and despised them both. But then when I started dating my now husband, he convinced me to try God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and then Mother Night. It was shocked how much I liked both books and thus I became a Vonnegut fan. A quotation (below) was part of our wedding ceremony! (I still hate Cat’s Cradle but there are some good quotations from it). So here is a list of my favorite 15 Kurt Vonnegut quotes from his novels, short stories, essays, and interviews.
Kurt Vonnegut Quotes on Life, the Universe, and everything
“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.’” —God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
“There is no order in the world around us, we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead.” —Breakfast of Champions
“In nonsense is strength.” —Breakfast of Champions
Kurt Vonnegut Quotes On Perspective
“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
“Science is magic that works.” —Cats Cradle
Kurt Vonnegut Quotes On Happiness
“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.’” —A Man Without A Country
“That is my principal objection to life, I think: It’s too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.” —Deadeye Dick
Kurt Vonnegut Quotes on Writing/Literature/art
“I think it can be tremendously refreshing if a creator of literature has something on his mind other than the history of literature so far. Literature should not disappear up its own asshole, so to speak.”—Paris Review
On short stories: “And it was itself a form of meditation…reading a short story or in a Buddhist story…That’s one form of medicine we don’t use anymore.” —NPR Interview
“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: ‘The only proof he needed for the existence of God was music.'” —A Man Without A Country
Kurt Vonnegut Quotes On People
“There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too.” —Mother Night
“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.” —Cat’s Cradle
“‘What can any one person do?’ he said.
“‘Each person does a little something,’ I said, ‘and there you are.'” —Cat’s Cradle
If you want so more Kurt Vonnegut quotes, check out: 10 Rather Wonderful Vonnegut Quotations.