In the spirit of Banned Books Week, I have been going back through my collection and looking for the most subversive authors I can find. I never have to look very far on my bookshelves to find something by Kurt Vonnegut. I recently read Cat’s Cradle again and was struck by the brilliance of the Calypso verses from the Books of Bokonon. I laughed because I realized that many Kurt Vonnegut quotes act as my own Calypsos.They guide me as much as anything can.
So today I’m going to give you five more quotes from the man who basically said everything as well as it could possibly be said.
“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”
“Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn’t mean we deserve to conquer the universe.”
“There’s only one me, and I’m stuck with him.”
“Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”
“Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”
“We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.”
“Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?”
“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion . . . . I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.”
“Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!”
“The insane, on occasion, are not without their charms”
Damn it, Kurt, I miss you…
PS: If you have never seen any of the Kurt Vonnegut drawings that he did, check out Breakfast of Champions or some or the art on Vonnegut.com. They’re pretty excellent.