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Quotations From THOMAS MANN


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  • "Beer, tobacco, and music," he went on. "Behold the Fatherland."
    Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German author, critic. Originally published as Der Zauberberg, Fischer (1924). The Magic Mountain, ch. 4, p. 112, trans. by Helen T. Lowe-Porter, The Modern Library, McGraw-Hill (1955). Settembrini's characterization of Germany.

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  • Six months at most after they get here, these young people—and they are mostly young who come—have lost every idea they had, except flirtation and temperature.
    Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German author, critic. Originally published as Der Zauberberg, Fischer (1924). The Magic Mountain, ch. 5, p. 198, trans. by Helen T. Lowe-Porter, The Modern Library, McGraw-Hill (1955). Settembrini's critique of the Magic Mountain Society.

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  • Paradox is the poisonous flower of quietism, the iridescent surface of the rotting mind, the greatest depravity of all.
    Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German author, critic. Originally published as Der Zauberberg, Fischer (1924). The Magic Mountain, ch. 5, pp. 221-222, trans. by Helen T. Lowe-Porter, The Modern Library, McGraw-Hill (1955). Settembrini warning Hans Castorp of paradox.

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  • Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.
    Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German author, critic. The Magic Mountain, ch. 6, "Of The City of God," (1924), trans. by H.T. Lowe-Porter (1928).
  • The more they talk the more lecherous they get.
    Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German author, critic. Originally published as Der Zauberberg, Fischer (1924). The Magic Mountain, ch. 6, p. 417, trans. by Helen T. Lowe-Porter, The Modern Library, McGraw-Hill (1955). Hofrat Behrens' spoof of the Freudian talking cure.
  • I have always been an admirer. I regard the gift of admiration as indispensable if one is to amount to something; I don't know where I would be without it.
    Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German author, critic. Letter, 1950. Quoted in Marcel Reich-Ranicki, "Thomas Mann—The Birth of Criticism," Thomas Mann and His Family (1987, trans. 1989).
  • Le corps, l'amour, la mort, ces trois ne font qu'un.
    Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German author, critic. Originally published as Der Zauberberg, Fischer (1924). The Magic Mountain, ch. 5, p. 342, trans. by Helen T. Lowe-Porter, The Modern Library, McGraw-Hill (1955). The quintessence of both Hans Castorp's love declaration to Chauchat and his characterization of the Magic Mountain as a whole.
  • What a glorious gift is imagination, and what satisfaction it affords!
    Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German author, critic. Originally published as Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull, Fischer (1954). Felix Krull, in Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man, bk. 1, ch. 1, p. 8, trans. by Denver Lindley, Vintage Books (1955).

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  • 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.
    Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German author, critic. From the essay "Freud and the Future," originally published as "Freud und die Zukunft" in Imago, vol. 22, Vienna, Austria (1936). Essays by Thomas Mann, p. 317, trans. by Helen T. Lowe-Porter, Vintage (1957). Thomas Mann in his speech delivered in Vienna on Freud's 80th birthday.

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  • As a science of the unconscious it is a therapeutic method, in the grand style, a method overarching the individual case. Call this, if you choose, a poet's utopia.
    Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German author, critic. From the essay "Freud and the Future," originally published as "Freud und die Zukunft" in Imago, vol. 22, Vienna, Austria (1936). Essays by Thomas Mann, p. 323, trans. by Helen T. Lowe-Porter, Vintage (1957). Thomas Mann in his speech delivered in Vienna on Freud's 80th birthday.
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