“What is called eloquence in the forum is commonly found to be rhetoric in the study. The orator yields to the inspiration of a transient occasion, and speaks to the mob before him, to those who can hear him; but the writer, whose more equable life is his occasion, and who would be distracted by the event and the crowd which inspire the orator, speaks to the intellect and heart of mankind, to all in any age who can understand him.” – Henry David Thoreau
"'We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." - Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
I think it’s my favourite quote of Vonnegut.
Yes, I would agree that it may be the most serious of his books (of those I’ve read), but still there is satire. I love that about his books. Where other writers elaborate on all the tragedies of life, he simply laughs.
Something he said was:” Some things aren’t funny. I can’t imagine a humorous book or skit about Auschwitz, for instance. And it’s not possible for me to make a joke about the death of John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King. Otherwise I can’t think of any subject that I would steer away from, that I could do nothing with. Total catastrophes are terribly amusing[…]” . and this is pretty much truth about him .I laughed aloud reading his novels and still they are many times more sad than those seriously written.
Like reading “As it goes.” several times in every chapter in "Slaughterhouse-Five". At the beginning it was really funny, then it was annoying (because how often you can say something again and again) and then after description of Drezno it was just heartbreaking. And I didn’t even felt manipulated, it was just clear that the most terrible things are easier to describe joking because it’s too difficult to talk about them seriously.
Edit: Oh dear, it was supposed to be a short comment
“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes." A.C. Doyle
"Christopher Michael Langan - has a verified IQ of at least 195. Langan achieved a perfect score on the SAT, but dropped out of Montana State University after concluding his professors weren't qualified to teach him anything. ABC's 20/20 measured his IQ (as an adult) to be between 195 and 210."