„Laughter is a sunbeam of the soul.“

—  Thomas Mann, kniha The Magic Mountain

Zdroj: The Magic Mountain

„Writing well was almost the same as thinking well, and thinking well was the next thing to acting well.“

—  Thomas Mann, kniha The Magic Mountain

Zdroj: The Magic Mountain (1924), Ch. 4
Kontext: 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!

„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 [Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen] (1918)
Kontext: The important thing for me, then, is not the "work," but my life. 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.

„Hold every moment sacred. Give each clarity and meaning, each the weight of thine awareness, each its true and due fulfillment.“

—  Thomas Mann

Zdroj: The Beloved Returns (1939), Ch. 7
Kontext: 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. Hold every moment sacred. Give each clarity and meaning, each the weight of thine awareness, each its true and due fulfillment.

„Every reasonable human being should be a moderate Socialist.“

—  Thomas Mann

As quoted in The New York Times (18 June 1950); also in Thomas Mann: A Critical Study (1971) by R. J. Hollingdale, Ch. 2

„Politics has been called the “art of the possible,” and it actually is a realm akin to art insofar as, like art, it occupies a creatively mediating position between spirit and life, the idea and reality.“

—  Thomas Mann, Germany and the Germans

Speech at the US Library of Congress (29 May 1945); published as "Germany and the Germans" ["Deutschland und die Deutschen"] in Die Neue Rundschau [Stockholm] (October 1945), p. 58, as translated by Helen T. Lowe-Porter

„Time, we say, is Lethe; but change of air is a similar draught, and, if it works less thoroughly, does so more quickly.“

—  Thomas Mann, kniha The Magic Mountain

Zdroj: The Magic Mountain (1924), Ch. 1
Kontext: Space, like time, engenders forgetfulness; but it does so by setting us bodily free from our surroundings and giving us back our primitive, unattached state. Yes, it can even, in the twinkling of an eye, make something like a vagabond of the pedant and Philistine. Time, we say, is Lethe; but change of air is a similar draught, and, if it works less thoroughly, does so more quickly.

„Space, like time, engenders forgetfulness; but it does so by setting us bodily free from our surroundings and giving us back our primitive, unattached state.“

—  Thomas Mann, kniha The Magic Mountain

Zdroj: The Magic Mountain (1924), Ch. 1
Kontext: Space, like time, engenders forgetfulness; but it does so by setting us bodily free from our surroundings and giving us back our primitive, unattached state. Yes, it can even, in the twinkling of an eye, make something like a vagabond of the pedant and Philistine. Time, we say, is Lethe; but change of air is a similar draught, and, if it works less thoroughly, does so more quickly.

„I think of my suffering, of the problem of my suffering. What am I suffering from? From knowledge — is it going to destroy me? What am I suffering from? From sexuality — is it going to destroy me?“

—  Thomas Mann

Letter from Naples, Italy to Otto Grautoff (1896); as quoted in A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (2005) by Lewis A. Lawson, p. 34
Kontext: I think of my suffering, of the problem of my suffering. What am I suffering from? From knowledge — is it going to destroy me? What am I suffering from? From sexuality — is it going to destroy me? How I hate it, this knowledge which forces even art to join it! How I hate it, this sensuality, which claims everything fine and good is its consequence and effect. Alas, it is the poison that lurks in everything fine and good! — How am I to free myself of knowledge? By religion? How am I to free myself of sexuality? By eating rice?

„Analysis can be a very unappetizing affair, as much so as death.“

—  Thomas Mann, kniha The Magic Mountain

Zdroj: The Magic Mountain (1924), Ch. 5
Kontext: Analysis as an instrument of enlightenment and civilization is good, in so far as it shatters absurd convictions, acts as a solvent upon natural prejudices, and undermines authority; good, in other words, in that it sets free, refines, humanizes, makes slaves ripe for freedom. But it is bad, very bad, in so far as it stands in the way of action, cannot shape the vital forces, maims life at its roots. Analysis can be a very unappetizing affair, as much so as death.

„For the sake of goodness and love, man shall let death have no sovereignty over his thoughts.“

—  Thomas Mann, kniha The Magic Mountain

Zdroj: The Magic Mountain (1924), Ch. 6
Kontext: I will keep faith with death in my heart, yet will remember that faith with death and the dead is only wickedness and dark voluptuousness and enmity against humankind, if it is given power over our thought and contemplation. For the sake of goodness and love, man shall let death have no sovereignty over his thoughts. And with that, I wake up.

„Hold fast the time! Guard it, watch over it, every hour, every minute!“

—  Thomas Mann

Zdroj: The Beloved Returns (1939), Ch. 7
Kontext: 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. Hold every moment sacred. Give each clarity and meaning, each the weight of thine awareness, each its true and due fulfillment.

„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, kniha Deutsche Ansprache

On German fascism, in "An Appeal to Reason" ["Deutsche Ansprache. Ein Appell an die Vernunft"] in Berliner Tageblatt (18 October 1930); as translated by Helen T. Lowe-Porter in Order of the Day, Political Essays and Speeches of Two Decades (1942), p. 57
Kontext: This fantastic state of mind, of a humanity that has outrun its ideas, is matched by a political scene in the grotesque style, with Salvation Army methods, hallelujahs and bell-ringing and dervishlike repetition of monotonous catchwords, until everybody foams at the mouth. 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.

„The body, love, death, these three are just one.“

—  Thomas Mann, kniha The Magic Mountain

Hans Castorp to Chauchat, in French, Ch. 5
The Magic Mountain (1924)
Kontext: Rough translation of this passage written in French: The body, love, death, these three are just one. For the body, this is the disease and exquisite delight, and this that does die, yes, they are carnal both of them, love and death, and thus their terror and their great magic!

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