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German author (1875-1955)

It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

The meeting in the open of two dogs, strangers to each other, is one of the most painful, thrilling, and pregnant of all conceivabale encounters; it is surrounded by an atmosphere of the last canniness, presided over by a constraint for which I have no preciser name; they simply cannot pass each other, their mutual embarrassment is frightful to behold.

THOMAS MANN, "A Man and His Dog," Stories of Three Decades

Though honor might possess certain advantages, yet shame had others, and not inferior.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

Has the world ever been changed by anything save the thought and its magic vehicle the Word?

THOMAS MANN, Freud and the Future

Solitude produces originality, bold and astonishing beauty, poetry. But solitude also produces perverseness, the disproportianate, the absurd and the forbidden.

THOMAS MANN, Death in Venice

All interest in disease and death is only another expression of interest in life.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

Fanaticism turns into a means of salvation, enthusiasm into epileptic ecstasy, politics becomes an opiate for the masses, a proletarian eschatology; and reason veils her face.

THOMAS MANN, "An Appeal to Reason"

Hold fast the time! Guard it, watch over it, every hour, every minute! Unregarded it slips away, like a lizard, smooth, slippery, faithless, a pixy wife.

THOMAS MANN, The Beloved Returns

Paradox is the poisonous flower of quietism, the iridescent surface of the rotting mind, the greatest depravity of all.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.

THOMAS MANN, attributed, This I Believe

If the years of youth are experienced slowly, while the later years of life hurtle past at an ever-increasing speed, it must be habit that causes it. We know full well that the insertion of new habits or the changing of old ones is the only way to preserve life, to renew our sense of time, to rejuvenate, intensify, and retard our experience of time—and thereby renew our sense of life itself.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

Time cools, time clarifies, no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

Human reason needs only to will more strongly than fate, and she is fate.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

We are most likely to get angry and excited in our opposition to some idea when we ourselves are not quite certain of our own position, and are inwardly tempted to take the other side.

THOMAS MANN, Buddenbrooks

The writer’s joy is the thought that can become emotion, the emotion that can wholly become a thought.

THOMAS MANN, Death in Venice

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

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

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.

THOMAS MANN, Tonio Kröger

Life is not the means for the achievement of an esthetic ideal of perfection; on the contrary, the work is an ethical symbol of life.

THOMAS MANN, Reflections of a Non-Political Man

Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.

THOMAS MANN, Essays of Three Decades

Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

What good would politics be, if it didn’t give everyone the opportunity to make moral compromises.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it.

THOMAS MANN, Tonio Kröger

I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide.

THOMAS MANN, Death in Venice

That daily the night falls; that over stresses and torments, cares and sorrows the blessing of sleep unfolds, stilling and quenching them; that every anew this draught of refreshment and lethe is offered to our parching lips, ever after the battle this mildness laves our shaking limbs, that from it, purified from sweat and dust and blood, strengthened, renewed, rejuvenated, almost innocent once more, almost with pristine courage and zeal we may go forth again — these I hold to be the benignest, the most moving of all the great facts of life.

THOMAS MANN, "Sleep, Sweet Sleep"

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

THOMAS MANN, Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man

A man's dying is more the survivors' affair than his own.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

The beautiful word begets the beautiful deed.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

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. Certainly when a writer has acquired the habit of regarding life as mythical and typical there comes a curious heightening of his artistic temper, a new refreshment to his perceiving and shaping powers, which otherwise occurs much later in life; for while in the life of the human race the mythical is an early and primitive stage, in the life of the individual it is a late and mature one.

THOMAS MANN, Freud and the Future

Is not the pastness of the past the more profound, the more legendary, the more immediately it falls before the present?

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain


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