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Absolute Vonnegut! : Forum : The Gentleman, Mr Vonnegut.


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The Gentleman, Mr Vonnegut.

12 Years Ago


Here is as good a place as any to place a tribute to the man who when asked by a young boy what he was trying to say replied, "Be nicer to each other." Genre-less, his work expressed his deep humility whilst displaying dazzling skill both in narrative structure where he broke new ground and in immediacy and honesty of expression.
A million words will not do but a short bow and hat tipped in respect seems insufficient.
GingaTao, Mr Vonnegut, so it goes.
PaulS
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[no subject]

12 Years Ago


I agree with your assessment of Mr. Vonnegut. I've been feeling a lack of words about him, as I feel there is so much being said about him right now.

Also, in talking to some people I work with, few to none of them have read his stuff. A majority have never even heard of him!!! How crazy is that?
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[no subject]

12 Years Ago


Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.

I want to stay 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.

If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.

Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before... He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.
from "Cat's Cradle"

One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.
from "Cold Turkey", In These Times, May 10, 2004

Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.
from "Cold Turkey", In These Times

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
from "Cold Turkey", In These Times,

Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.
from "A Man without a Country"

Humor is an almost physiological response to fear.
from "A Man without a Country"

I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex.
from "A Man without a Country"

1492. As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.
from "Breakfast of Champions"

The chief weapon of sea pirates, however, was their capacity to astonish. Nobody else could believe, until it was too late, how heartless and greedy they were.
from "Breakfast of Champions"

New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.
from "Breakfast of Champions"

Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.
from "Cat's Cradle"

Here's what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.
from "Cold Turkey"

Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.
from "Hocus Pocus"

During my three years in Vietnam, I certainly heard plenty of last words by dying American footsoldiers. Not one of them, however, had illusions that he had somehow accomplished something worthwhile in the process of making the Supreme Sacrifice.
from "Hocus Pocus"

Well, the telling of jokes is an art of its own, and it always rises from some emotional threat. The best jokes are dangerous, and dangerous because they are in some way truthful.
Interview, Mcsweeneys.net

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
from "Mother Night"

Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe.
from 'Hocus Pocus'

A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.
from "Sirens of Titan"

Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.
from "Slaughterhouse Five"

All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber.
from "Slaughterhouse Five"

How nice--to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
from "Slaughterhouse-Five"

I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did'.
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[no subject]

12 Years Ago


Good call, Mr. Pickering, especially the first quote. I love it.