There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.— Kurt Vonnegut
Competitive Slaughterhouse Five quotations
The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words "I did not have time".
And what do the birds say? All there is to say about a massacre, things like "Poo-tee-weet?
I have told my sons that they are not under any circumstances to take part in massacres, and that the news of massacres of enemies is not to fill them with satisfaction or glee. I have also told them not to work for companies which make massacre machinery, and to express contempt for people who think we need machinery like that.
Two percent of the people think, three percent of the people think they think, and ninety-five percent of the people would rather die than Think.
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.
He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.
Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue, the monograph went on. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact how hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves.
They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.
Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is.
America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves.
It is just an illusion here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever.
I have this disease late at night sometimes, involving alcohol and the telephone.
That's one thing Earthlings might learn to do, if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times and concentrate on the good ones.
- Why me? - That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr.
Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber? - Yes. - Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.
There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters.
There is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre.
Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.
The nicest veterans in Schenectady, I thought, the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who'd really fought.
Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones.
The most important thing I learned [.
..] was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist.
One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters.
Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn't well connected. So it goes.
Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future.
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again. There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.
...when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist.
If I hadn’t spent so much time studying Earthlings," said the Tralfamadorian, "I wouldn’t have any idea what was meant by 'free will.' I've visited thirty-one inhabited planets in the universe, and I have studied reports on one hundred more. Only on Earth is there any talk of free will.
When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in the particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "So it goes.
All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist.
I think you guys are going to have to come up with a lot of wonderful new lies, or people just aren't going to want to go on living.
The Population Reference Bureau predicts that the world's total population will double to 7,000,000,000 before the year 2000. I suppose they will all want dignity, I said.
It was very exciting for her, taking his dignity away in the name of love.
The gun made a ripping sound like the opening of a zipper on the fly of God Almighty.
If I am going to spend eternity visiting this moment and that, I'm grateful that so many of those moments are nice.
She was a dull person, but a sensational invitation to make babies.
I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is.