Frases de Kurt Vonnegut

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Kurt Vonnegut

Data de nascimento: 11. Novembro 1922
Data de falecimento: 11. Abril 2007
Outros nomes: Vonegut, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. foi um escritor estadunidense de ascendência germânica.

Concluída a formação em Química, alistou-se no exército e combateu na Segunda Guerra Mundial. Feito prisioneiro, presenciou o bombardeamento de Dresden. Após a Guerra, formou-se em Antropologia.

É autor de vários romances, ensaios e peças de teatro, entre os quais se destacam Player Piano de 1952, Cat’s Cradle de 1963, Slaughterhouse-Five de 1969, Breakfast of Champions de 1973 e Galápagos de 1985. Sua última obra foi Look at the Birdie de 2009, livro póstumo com uma coleção de contos e ensaios.

Vonnegut morreu em 11 de abril de 2007, semanas após uma queda em sua casa em Manhattan que resultou em graves complicações cerebrais.

Obras

Citações Kurt Vonnegut

„Lá no bar, espiando através dos meus escapes para um mundo que eu mesmo havia inventado, falei baixinho a seguinte palavra: esquizofrenia. O som e a aparência dessa palavra me fascinavam havia muitos anos. A mim soava e parecia como um ser humano espirrando numa nevasca de flocos de sabão.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro Breakfast of Champions

There in the cocktail lounge, peering out through my leaks at a world of my own invention, I mouthed this word: schizophrenia. The sound and appearance of the word had fascinated me for many years. It sounded and looked to me like a human being sneezing in a blizzard of soapflakes.
Breakfast of champions: or, Goodbye blue Monday! - Página 198, Kurt Vonnegut - Delacorte Press, 1973 - 295 páginas

„Esta provavelmente é a história da minha vida: falta de determinação suficiente.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro Breakfast of Champions

that's probably the story of my life: not enough determination.
Breakfast of champions: or, Goodbye blue Monday! - Página 110, Kurt Vonnegut - Delacorte Press, 1973 - 295 páginas

„Humanista é uma pessoa com grande interesse pelos seres humanos. Meu cachorro é humanista.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut

I have found that a humanist is a person who is tremendously interested in human beings. My dog is a humanist.
citado em "The Vonnegut encyclopedia: an authorized compendium"‎ - Página 311, de Marc Leeds - Greenwood Press, 1995, ISBN 0313292302, 9780313292309 - 693 páginas

„I thought scientists were going to find out exactly how everything worked, and then make it work better.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut

Bennington College address (1970)
Contexto: I thought scientists were going to find out exactly how everything worked, and then make it work better. I fully expected that by the time I was twenty-one, some scientist, maybe my brother, would have taken a color photograph of God Almighty — and sold it to Popular Mechanics magazine.
Scientific truth was going to make us so happy and comfortable. What actually happened when I was twenty-one was that we dropped scientific truth on Hiroshima.

„The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro Slaughterhouse-Five

Billy writing a letter to a newspaper describing the Tralfamadorians
Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
Contexto: The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore 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. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have 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.
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."

„They were doing their best to live like people invented in story books.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions (1973)
Contexto: I thought Beatrice Keedsler had joined hands with other old-fashioned storytellers to make people believe that life had leading characters, minor characters, significant details, insignificant details, that it had lessons to be learned, tests to be passed, and a beginning, a middle, and an end.
As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I had become more and more enraged and mystified by the idiot decisions made by my countrymen. And then I had come suddenly to pity them, for I understood how innocent and natural it was for them to behave so abominably, and with such abominable results: They were doing their best to live like people invented in story books. This was the reason Americans shot each other so often: It was a convenient literary device for ending short stories and books.
Why were so many Americans treated by their government as though their lives were as disposable as paper facial tissues? Because that was the way authors customarily treated bit-part players in their madeup tales.
And so on.
Once I understood what was making America such a dangerous, unhappy nation of people who had nothing to do with real life, I resolved to shun storytelling. I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done.
If all writers would do that, then perhaps citizens not in the literary trades will understand that there is no order in the world around us, that we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead.
It is hard to adapt to chaos, but it can be done. I am living proof of that: It can be done.

„Hello, I am Wanda June. Today was going to be my birthday, but I was hit by an ice-cream truck before I could have my party.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, Happy Birthday, Wanda June

"Wanda June"
Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1970)
Contexto: Hello, I am Wanda June. Today was going to be my birthday, but I was hit by an ice-cream truck before I could have my party. I am dead now. I am in Heaven. That is why my parents did not pick up my cake at the bakery. I am not mad at the ice-cream truck driver, even though he was drunk when he hit me. It didn't hurt much. It wasn't even as bad as the sting of a bumblebee. I am really happy here! It's so much fun. I'm glad the driver was drunk. If he hadn't been, I might not have gone to Heaven for years and years and years. I would have had to go to high school first, and then beauty college. I would have had to get married and have babies and everything. Now I can just play and play and play. Any time I want any pink cotton candy I can have some. Everybody up here is happy — the animals and the dead soldiers and people who went to the electric chair and everything. They're all glad for whatever sent them here. Nobody is mad. We're all too busy playing shuffleboard. So if you think of killing somebody, don't worry about it. Just go ahead and do it. Whoever you do it to should kiss you for doing it. The soldiers up here just love the shrapnel and the tanks and the bayonets and the dum dums that let them play shuffleboard all the time — and drink beer.

„You are reading a bold and universal headline which says ,'I am here, I am here, I am here.'"“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions (1973)
Contexto: It was Trout’s fantasy that somebody would be outraged by the footprints. This would give him the opportunity to reply grandly, "What is it that offends you so? I am simply using man’s first printing press. You are reading a bold and universal headline which says,'I am here, I am here, I am here.'"

„This book is my fiftieth-birthday present to myself.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions (1973)
Contexto: This book is my fiftieth-birthday present to myself. I feel as though I am crossing the spine of a roof — having ascended one slope.
I am programmed at fifty to perform childishly — to insult “The Star-Spangled Banner,” to scrawl pictures of a Nazi flag and an asshole and a lot of other things with a felt-tipped pen. To give an idea of the maturity of my illustrations for this book, here is my picture of an asshole:

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„About belief or lack of belief in an afterlife: Some of you may know that I am neither Christian nor Jewish nor Buddhist, nor a conventionally religious person of any sort.
I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishments after I'm dead.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

In A Man Without a Country (2005) p. 80–81 Vonnegut makes a very similar statement:
God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian (1999)
Contexto: About belief or lack of belief in an afterlife: Some of you may know that I am neither Christian nor Jewish nor Buddhist, nor a conventionally religious person of any sort.
I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishments after I'm dead. My German-American ancestors, the earliest of whom settled in our Middle West about the time of our Civil War, called themselves "Freethinkers," which is the same sort of thing. My great grandfather Clemens Vonnegut wrote, for example, "If what Jesus said was good, what can it matter whether he was God or not?"
I myself have written, "If it weren't for the message of mercy and pity in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, I wouldn't want to be a human being. I would just as soon be a rattlesnake."

„I resolved to shun storytelling. I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions (1973)
Contexto: I thought Beatrice Keedsler had joined hands with other old-fashioned storytellers to make people believe that life had leading characters, minor characters, significant details, insignificant details, that it had lessons to be learned, tests to be passed, and a beginning, a middle, and an end.
As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I had become more and more enraged and mystified by the idiot decisions made by my countrymen. And then I had come suddenly to pity them, for I understood how innocent and natural it was for them to behave so abominably, and with such abominable results: They were doing their best to live like people invented in story books. This was the reason Americans shot each other so often: It was a convenient literary device for ending short stories and books.
Why were so many Americans treated by their government as though their lives were as disposable as paper facial tissues? Because that was the way authors customarily treated bit-part players in their madeup tales.
And so on.
Once I understood what was making America such a dangerous, unhappy nation of people who had nothing to do with real life, I resolved to shun storytelling. I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done.
If all writers would do that, then perhaps citizens not in the literary trades will understand that there is no order in the world around us, that we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead.
It is hard to adapt to chaos, but it can be done. I am living proof of that: It can be done.

„Christianity and socialism alike, in fact, prescribe a society dedicated to the proposition that all men, women, and children are created equal and shall not starve.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro A Man Without a Country

A Man Without a Country (2005)
Contexto: Socialism is no more an evil word than Christianity. Socialism no more prescribed Joseph Stalin and his secret police and shuttered churches than Christianity prescribed the Spanish Inquisition. Christianity and socialism alike, in fact, prescribe a society dedicated to the proposition that all men, women, and children are created equal and shall not starve.

„When the excrement hit the air conditioner“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro Hocus Pocus

Recurring phrase throughout many chapters
Hocus Pocus (1990)

„Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut

Cold Turkey (2004)
Contexto: Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.

„I practice a disorganized religion.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro A Man Without a Country

A Man Without a Country (2005)
Contexto: I don't know about you, but I practice a disorganized religion. I belong to an unholy disorder. We call ourselves "Our Lady of Perpetual Astonishment."

„Labor history was pornography of a sort in those days, and even more so in these days.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, livro Jailbird

Fonte: Jailbird (1979), p. 12 (prologue)
Contexto: Labor history was pornography of a sort in those days, and even more so in these days. In public schools and in the homes of nice people it was and remains pretty much taboo to tell tales of labor's sufferings and derring-do.

„I simply never unlearned junior civics. I still believe in it.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut

As quoted by James Lundquist in Kurt Vonnegut (1971)
Various interviews
Contexto: I was taught in the sixth grade that we had a standing army of just over a hundred thousand men and that the generals had nothing to say about what was done in Washington. I was taught to be proud of that and to pity Europe for having more than a million men under arms and spending all their money on airplanes and tanks. I simply never unlearned junior civics. I still believe in it. I got a very good grade.

„I sometimes wondered what the use of any of the arts was. The best thing I could come up with was what I call the canary in the coal mine theory of the arts.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut

"Physicist, Purge Thyself" in the Chicago Tribune Magazine (22 June 1969)
Various interviews
Contexto: I sometimes wondered what the use of any of the arts was. The best thing I could come up with was what I call the canary in the coal mine theory of the arts. This theory says that artists are useful to society because they are so sensitive. They are super-sensitive. They keel over like canaries in poison coal mines long before more robust types realize that there is any danger whatsoever.

„Scientific truth was going to make us so happy and comfortable. What actually happened when I was twenty-one was that we dropped scientific truth on Hiroshima.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut

Bennington College address (1970)
Contexto: I thought scientists were going to find out exactly how everything worked, and then make it work better. I fully expected that by the time I was twenty-one, some scientist, maybe my brother, would have taken a color photograph of God Almighty — and sold it to Popular Mechanics magazine.
Scientific truth was going to make us so happy and comfortable. What actually happened when I was twenty-one was that we dropped scientific truth on Hiroshima.

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