Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most important American writers of all time. He penned such classics as Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, and Breakfast of Champions, and had a style that teetered between science-fiction, satire, and humor. To younger generations, he's known as the guy who's responsible for the "So it goes" tattoo on your friend's wrist and the reason people want to smoke unfiltered Pall Malls.
The New York Times once called him "the counterculture's novelist," and, before his death in 2007, Vonnegut published over a dozen novels, as well as a plethora of personal essays, short stories, and scripts. And culling through much of these works, we found 14 prolific quotes by the late author to start off your week.
Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the madness.
1. “Cigarettes are a classy way to commit suicide.”
2. "Literature should not disappear up its own a**hole, so to speak."
3. "Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.”
4. “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”
5. “Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
6. “Everything is nothing, with a twist.”
7. “Here's the news: I am going to sue the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company, manufacturers of Pall Mall cigarettes, for a billion bucks! Starting when I was only 12-years old, I have never chain-smoked anything but unfiltered Pall Malls. And for many years now, right on the package, Brown & Williamson have promised to kill me. But I am eighty-two. Thanks a lot, you dirty rats. The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick, and Colon.”
8. "We must be careful about what we pretend to be."
9. “Until you die...it's all life.”
10. “We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.”
11. “Live by the harmless untruths that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”
12. “All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental.”
13. “I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead.”
14. “So it goes.”
Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and his favorite Kurt Vonnegut novel is Welcome to the Monkey House.