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.
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.