Thomas Mann Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 147 quotes)
There is only one real misfortune: to forfeit one's own good opinion of oneself. To have lost one's self-respect: that is what unhappiness is. Oh, I have always known that so well! Everything else is part of the game, an enrichment of one's life; in every other form of suffering one can feel such extraordinary self-satisfaction, one can cut such a fine figure. Only when one has fallen out with oneself and no longer suffers with a good conscience, only in the throes of stricken vanity - only then does one become a pitiful and repulsive spectacle.
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 did one see if one looked in any depth into the world of this writer's fiction? Elegant self-control concealing from the world's eyes until the very last moment a state of inner disintegration and biological decay; sallow ugliness, sensuously marred and worsted, which nevertheless is able to fan its smouldering concupiscence to a pallid impotence, which from the glowing depths of the spirit draws strength to cast down a whole proud people at the foot of the Cross and set its own foot upon them as well; gracious poise and composure in the empty austere service of form; the false, dangerous life of the born deceiver, his ambition and his art which lead so soon to exhaustion ---
But the boredom of Frau Spatz had by now reached that pitch where it distorts the countenance of man, makes the eyes protrude from the head, and lends the features a corpselike and terrifying aspect. More than that, this music acted on the nerves that controlled her digestion, producing in her dyspeptic organism such malaise that she was really afraid she would have an attack.