November of 1922 brought the unsuspecting world Kurt Vonnegut. He didn’t have much to say initially, but as time progressed he proved to be a brilliant author, thinker, master of satire, dark humor, & pointed social commentary. This November 11 would be his 98th birthday. I’d like to celebrate with a tiny slice of what he had to say.
True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.
Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.
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.
Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.
I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.
Make love when you can. It’s good for you.
The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.
Oh, and then there’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Welcome to the Monkey House, Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, Player Piano, A Man Without a Country, & a stunning & steaming heap of essays, articles, short stories and novels.
Have a favorite Vonnegut work or quote? Please leave it in the comments section.
Big thanks to this week’s sources: Curated Quotes, Vonnegut.com, The Christian Science Monitor, Karen Cushman, & NPR. Image from pastdaily.com.
My two all-time favorite quotation books are Carolyn Warner’s The Words of Extraordinary Women, & Rosalie Maggio’s The New Beacon Book of Quotations by Women. It fascinates & saddens me that the brilliant bits between these covers seldom appear in most books of quotations, or internet quotation sites. Here are some food-related quotes from these two fine resources:
Fran Lebowitz – Food is an important part of a balanced diet.
Patricia Hampl – When we eat / we are like / everyone else
Ayn Rand – Ah, there’s nothing like tea in the afternoon. When the British Empire collapses, historians will find that it had made but two invaluable contributions to civilization—this tea ritual and the detective novel.
Erica Jong – Eating is never so simple as hunger.
Fran Lebowitz – Cheese that is required by law to append the word food to its title does not go well with red wine or fruit.
Julia Child – Noodles are not only amusing but delicious.
Sarah J. Hale – There is small danger of being starved in our land of plenty; but the danger of being stuffed is imminent.
Sara Peretsky – All food starting with a p is comfort food . . . pasta, potato chips, pretzels, peanut butter, pastrami, pizza, pastry.
Peg Bracken – Molded salads are best served in situations where they have little or no competition.
Joan Gussow – As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.
Isak Dinesen – Coffee, according to the women of Denmark, is to the body what the word of the Lord is to the soul.
Which quote hits closest to home? Which one coaxes a smile out of you? Please leave a comment.
My thanks go out to this week’s sources: The Words of Extraordinary Women, & The New Beacon Book of Quotations by Women.
I write for teens, narrate audio books, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.