Thomas Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann

Thomas
Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann
1875
1955

German Novelist, Essayist, Short Story Writer, Social Critic, Philanthropist, Awarded Nobel Prize for his Novels

Author Quotes

Cruelty is one of the chief ingredients of love, and divided about equally between the sexes: cruelty of lust, ingratitude, callousness, maltreatment, domination. The same is true of the passive qualities, patience under suffering, even pleasure in ill-usage.

For the beautiful word begets the beautiful deed.

He undressed, lay down, put out the light. Two names he whispered into his pillow, the few chaste northern syllables that meant for him his true and native way of love, of longing and happiness; that meant to him life and home, meant simple and heartfelt feeling. He looked back on the years that had passed. He thought of the dreamy adventures of the senses, nerves, and mind in which he had been involved; saw himself eaten up with intellect and introspection, ravaged and paralysed by insight, half worn out by the fevers and frosts of creation, helpless and in anguish of conscience between two extremes, flung to and from between austerity and lust; raffiné, impoverished, exhausted by frigid and artificially heightened ecstasies; erring, forsaken, martyred, and ill -- and sobbed with nostalgia and remorse.

I hope that you have nothing against malice, my good engineer. In my eyes it is the brightest sword that reason has against the powers of darkness and ugliness. Malice, sir, is the spirit of criticism, and criticism marks the origin of progress and enlightenment.

In certain respects, particularly economically, National-Socialism is nothing but bolshevism. These two are hostile brothers of whom the younger has learned everything from the older, the Russian excepting only morality.

It is not good when people no longer believe in war. Pretty soon they no longer believe in many other things which they absolutely must believe in if they are to be decent men.

Men do not know why they award fame to one work of art rather than another. Without being in the faintest connoisseurs, they think to justify the warmth of their commendations by discovering it in a hundred virtues, whereas the real ground of their applause is inexplicable--it is sumpathy.

Only he who desires is amiable and not he who is satiated.

Richard Wagner once declared that civilization disappears before music like mist before the sun. He never dreamed that one day, for its part, music would disappear before civilization, before democracy, like mist before the sun.

The accouterments of life were so rich and varied, so elaborated, that almost no place at all was left for life itself. Each and every accessory was so costly and beautiful that it had an existence above and beyond the purpose it was meant to serve — confusing the observer and absorbing attention.

The Ladies Buddenbrook from Breite Strasse did not weep, however - it was not their custom. Their faces, a little less caustic than usual at least, expressed a gentle satisfaction at death's impartiality.

There lay the little miracle among the pillows: so well formed, so encompassed, as it were, with the harmony of sweet proportions, with little hands that even then, though so much tinier, were beautiful as now; with wide-open eyes blue as the sky and brighter than the sunshine-and almost in that very second he felt himself captured and held fast.

To allow only the kind of art that the average man understands is the worst small-mindedness and the murder of mind and spirit. It is my conviction that the intellect can be certain that in doing what most disconcerts the crowd, in pursuing the most daring, unconventional advances and explorations, it will in some highly indirect fashion serve man - and in the long run, all men.

What I have done is nothing, not much — as good as nothing. I shall do better things, Lisaveta — this is a promise. While I am writing, the sea's roar is coming up to me, and I close my eyes. I am looking into an unborn and shapeless world that longs to be called to life and order, I am looking into a throng of phantoms of human forms which beckon me to conjure them and set them free: some of them tragic, some of them ridiculous, and some that are both at once — and to these I am very devoted. But my deepest and most secret love belongs to the blond and blue-eyed, the bright-spirited living ones, the happy, amiable, and commonplace.

Writing well was almost the same as thinking well, and thinking well was the next thing to acting well. All moral discipline, all moral perfection derived from the soul of literature, from the soul of human dignity, which was the moving spirit of both humanity and politics. Yes, they were all one, one and the same force, one and the same idea, and all of them could be comprehended in one single word... The word was — civilization!

A human being who is first of all an invalid is all body; therein lies his inhumanity and his debasement.

Art is the funnel, as it were, through which spirit is poured into life.

Culture and possessions, there is the bourgeoisie for you.

For the myth is the foundation of life; it is the timeless schema, the pious formula into which life flows when it reproduces its traits out of the unconscious.

He was all for catharsis and purification, he dreamed of an aesthetic consecration that should cleanse society of luxury, the greed of gold and all unloveliness.

I love and reverence the Word, the bearer of the spirit, the tool and gleaming ploughshare of progress.

In effect it seemed to him that, though honor might possess certain advantages, yet shame had others, and not inferior: advantages, even, that were well-nigh boundless in their scope.

It is remarkable how a man cannot summarize his thoughts in even the most general sort of way without betraying himself completely, without putting his whole self into it, quite unawares, presenting as if in allegory the basic themes and problems of his life.

Music quickens time, she quickens us to the finest enjoyment of time.

Only indifference is free. What is distinctive is never free, it is stamped with its own seal, conditioned and chained.

Author Picture
First Name
Thomas
Last Name
Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann
Birth Date
1875
Death Date
1955
Bio

German Novelist, Essayist, Short Story Writer, Social Critic, Philanthropist, Awarded Nobel Prize for his Novels