Happy Birthday Kurt Vonnegut! Top Ten Quotes from “A Man Without a Country”

November 11, 2013

Vonnegut_by_Jill_Krementz_5x7_300dpiToday would have been Kurt Vonnegut’s 91st birthday. In honor of the late, great writer we would like to share our favorite quotes from his book A Man Without a Country.

“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable.”

“I wanted all things to seem to make some sense,
So we could all be happy, yes, instead of tense.
And I made up lies, so
they all fit nice,
and I made this sad world a paradise”


“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 possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” 

“A saint is a person who behaves decently in a shockingly indecent society.” 

“No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious and charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.” 

“Do you realize that all great literature is all about what a bummer it is to be a human being? Isn’t it such a relief to have somebody say that?” 

“Humor is a way of holding off how awful life can be, to protect yourself.” 

Kurt Vonnegut, 2002

“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.” 

“And 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.’” 

And our personal favorite…

“Only in books do we learn what’s really going on.”

For more life advice from the inimitable Kurt Vonnegut, we hope you will read A Man Without a Country.

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