Forever Under Construction

Vonnegut on Arts

Posted in Art by homeyra on April 22, 2007

The purpose [of the arts], in common with astrology, is to use frauds in order to make human beings seem more wonderful than they really are. Dancers show us human beings who move much more gracefully than human beings really move. Films and books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people really talk, make paltry human enterprises seem important. Singers and musicians show us human beings making sounds far more lovely than human beings really make. Architects give us temples in which something marvelous is obviously going on. Actually, practically nothing is going on inside. And on and on.

The arts put man at the center of the universe, whether he belongs there or not. Military science, on the other hand, treats man as garbage — and his children, and his cities, too. Military science is probably right about the contemptibility of man in the vastness of the universe. Still — I deny that contemptibility, and I beg you to deny it, through the creation of appreciation of art.

Is it possible that seemingly incredible geniuses like Bach and Shakespeare and Einstein were not in fact superhuman, but simply plagiarists, copying great stuff from the future?

trout.jpgSource: Wikiquotes

Relevant links:
Kurt Vonnegut’s Artwork & Art show
A man without a country by Ann El Khoury aka PPGG
A tale for every American
A Christ-worshipping agnostic by Monte
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt, by Curt
Tuesday topics, BB2

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5 Responses

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  1. Curtis said, on April 22, 2007 at 11:15 am

    What a wonderful quote.

  2. Bluebear2 said, on April 23, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    A fine tribute to my favorite author.

  3. homeyra said, on April 23, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks! and that’s because I have good links 🙂

  4. […] friend Homeyra has an enjoyable quote from Vonnegut on the arts. Listed there are links to several others, too, […]

  5. Lawrence Whiteberg said, on April 25, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    That was good. But a little depressing 😉

    By the way: Is it really true? When I try to write scenes where people talk funny, I can never remember the funny jokes people tell in real life.


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