Coping the quote
30+ quotes from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories by Thomas Mann

Quotes from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories

Thomas Mann ·  402 pages

Rating: (17K votes)


“Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous - to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Nothing is more curious and awkward than the relationship of two people who only know each other with their eyes — who meet and observe each other daily, even hourly and who keep up the impression of disinterest either because of morals or because of a mental abnormality. Between them there is listlessness and pent-up curiosity, the hysteria of an unsatisfied, unnaturally suppressed need for communion and also a kind of tense respect. Because man loves and honors man as long as he is not able to judge him, and desire is a product of lacking knowledge.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Solitude produces originality, bold and astonishing beauty, poetry. But solitude also produces perverseness, the disproportianate, the absurd and the forbidden.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“A solitary, unused to speaking of what he sees and feels, has mental experiences which are at once more intense and less articulate than those of a gregarious man. They are sluggish, yet more wayward, and never without a melancholy tinge. Sights and impressions which others brush aside with a glance, a light comment, a smile, occupy him more than their due; they sink silently in, they take on meaning, they become experience, emotion, adventure. Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous - to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“It is most certainly a good thing that the world knows only the beautiful opus but not its origins, not the conditions of its creation; for if people knew the sources of the artist's inspiration, that knowledge would often confuse them, alarm them, and thereby destroy the effects of excellence. strange hours! strangely enervating labor! bizarrely fertile intercourse of the mind with a body!”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“There were profound reasons for his attachment to the sea: he loved it because as a hardworking artist he needed rest, needed to escape from the demanding complexity of phenomena and lie hidden on the bosom of the simple and tremendous; because of a forbidden longing deep within him that ran quite contrary to his life's task and was for that very reason seductive, a longing for the unarticulated and immeasurable, for eternity, for nothingness. To rest in the arms of perfection is the desire of any man intent upon creating excellence; and is not nothingness a form of perfection?”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Even in a personal sense, after all, art is an intensified life. By art one is more deeply satisfied and more rapidly used up. It engraves on the countenance of its servant the traces of imaginary and intellectual adventures, and even if he has outwardly existed in cloistral tranquility, it leads in the long term to overfastidiousness, over-refinement, nervous fatigue and overstimulation, such as can seldom result from a life of the most extravagant passions and pleasures.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Innate in nearly every artistic nature is a wanton, treacherous penchant for accepting injustice when it creates beauty and showing sympathy for and paying homage to aristocratic privilege.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Forbearance in the face of fate, beauty constant under torture, are not merely passive. They are a positive achievement, an explicit triumph.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“He took in the squeaky music, the vulgar and pining melodies, because passion immobilizes good taste and seriously considers what soberly would be thought of as funny and to be resented.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“The fact is that everyone is much too busily preoccupied with himself to be able to form a serious opinion about another person. The indolent world is all too ready to treat any man with whatever degree of respect corresponds to his own self-confidence.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“And then the sly arch-lover that he was, he said the subtlest thing of all: that the lover was nearer the divine than the beloved; for the god was in the one but not in the other - perhaps the tenderest, most mocking thought that ever was thought, and source of all the guile and secret bliss the lover knows.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“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.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Almost every artistic nature is born with a revealing connoisseurial tendency that appreciates injustice so long as it results in beauty and applauds, even worships aristocratic privilege.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“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.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“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 ---”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Or was he merely a mollycoddled favorite, enjoying capriciously prejudiced love? Schenback was inclined to believe the latter. Inborn in nearly every artist’s nature is a voluptuous, treacherous tendency to accept the injustice if it creates beauty and to grant sympathy and homage to aristocratic preferences.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“But what is it, to be an artist? Nothing shows up the general human dislike of thinking, and man's innate craving to be comfortable, better than his attitude to this question. When these worthy people are affected by a work of art, they humbly say that that sort of thing is a 'gift.' And because in their innocence they assume that beautiful and uplifting results must have beautiful and uplifting causes, they never dream that the 'gift' in question is a very dubious affair and rests upon extremely sinister foundations.
[...]
Listen to this. I know a banker, grey-haired business man, who has a gift for
writing stories. He employs this gift in his idle hours, and some of his stories are of the
first rank. But despiteI say despite-this excellent gift his withers are by no means
unwrung: on the contrary, he has had to serve a prison sentence, on anything but trifling
grounds. Yes, it was actually first in prison that he became conscious of his gift, and his
experiences as a convict are the main theme in all his works. One might be rash enough
to conclude that a man has to be at home in some kind of jail in order to become a poet.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“It’s hard to keep going when it seems like you’re not getting anywhere, but you’ll never succeed if you stop. Those of us with a dream that seems so far from being realized must remember that the road is long, but only those who stay on the path will reach their destination.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Strangely fruitful intercourse this, between one body and another mind”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Begin all over again? It would be no good. It would all turn out the same—all happen again just as it has happened. For certain people are For certain people are bound to go astray because for them no such thing as a right way exists.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“But he discovered that his thoughts and inspirations were like the intimations of a dream, which always seem inspired at the time but prove utterly shallow and useless to the waking mind.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Ultimately we are only as old as we feel in our hearts and minds.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Nothing is stranger, more delicate, than the relationship between people who know each other only by sight—who encounter and observe each other daily, even hourly, and yet are compelled by the constraint of convention or by their own temperament to keep up the pretense of being indifferent strangers, neither greeting nor speaking to each other. Between them is uneasiness and overstimulated curiosity, the nervous excitement of an unsatisfied, unnaturally suppressed need to know and to communicate; and above all, too, a kind of strained respect. For man loves and respects his fellow man for as long as he is not yet in a position to evaluate him, and desire is born of defective knowledge. It”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Δεν υπάρχει τίποτε πιο παράξενο και πιο δύσκολο απ’ τη σχέση δύο ανθρώπων που γνωρίζονται μόνο με τα μάτια –που κάθε μέρα, κάθε ώρα, συναντά, παρατηρεί ο ένας τον άλλον, κι είναι ταυτόχρονα αναγκασμένοι κάτω από την πίεση της ευπρέπειας ή από κάποια δική τους παραξενιά να καμώνονται πως είναι αδιάφοροι και ξένοι μεταξύ τους, δίχως ένα χαιρετισμό ή μία λέξη. Ανάμεσά τους υπάρχει κάτι που αναστατώνει, που κεντρίζει την περιέργεια, μια υστερική επιθυμία, ανικανοποίητη και αφύσικα καταπιεσμένη, να γνωριστούν και να μιλήσουν, και προπαντός ένα είδος σεβασμού μαζί με αγωνία και ένταση. Γιατί ο άνθρωπος αγαπά και σέβεται τον άλλον όσο δεν τον ξέρει αρκετά καλά για να τον κρίνει, και η επιθυμία του είναι αποτέλεσμα ατελούς γνώσης.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“He may have been waiting a long while, in snow or rain, yet his joy at my final appearance knows no resentment at my faithlessness, though I have neglected him all day and brought his hopes to naught.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“I went away, after trying once more to rouse up Bashan by renewed calls and
encouragement. In vain. He cared as little for my going as for my coming. He seemed weighed down by bitter loathing and despair. He had the air of saying: "Since you were capable of having me put in this cage, I expect nothing more from you." And, actually,
had he not enough ground to despair of reason and justice?
[...]
How could I explain to him we were treating him with great distinction, in shutting him up like a jaguar, without sun, air, or exercise, and plaguing him every day with a
thermometer?”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“There can be no relation more strange, more critical, than that between two beings who know each other only with their eyes, who meet daily, yes, even hourly, eye each other with a fixed regard, and yet by some whim or freak of convention feel constrained to act like strangers. Uneasiness rules between them, unslaked curiosity, a hysterical desire to give rein to their suppressed impulse to recognize and address each other; even, actually, a sort of strained but mutual regard. For one human being instinctively feels respect and love for another human being so long as he does not know him well enough to judge him; and that he does not, the craving he feels is evidence.”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“The fruit of solitude is originality, something daringly and disconcertingly beautiful, the poetic creation. But the fruit of solitude can also be the perverse, the disproportionate, the absurd and the forbidden. And thus the phenomena of his journey to this place, the horrible old made-up man with his maudlin babble about a sweetheart, the illicit gondolier who had been done out of his money, were still weighing on the traveler’s mind. Without in any way being rationally inexplicable, without even really offering food for thought, they were nevertheless, as it seemed to him, essentially strange, and indeed it was no doubt this very paradox that made them disturbing. In the meantime he saluted the sea with his gaze and rejoiced in the knowledge that Venice was now so near and accessible. Finally he turned round, bathed his face, gave the room maid certain instructions for the enhancement of his comfort, and then had himself conveyed by the green-uniformed Swiss lift attendant to the ground floor. He took tea on the front terrace, then”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


“Inborn in almost every artistic nature is a luxuriant, treacherous bias in favor of the injustice that creates beauty, a tendency to sympathize with aristocratic preference and pay it homage. A”
― Thomas Mann, quote from Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories


About the author

Thomas Mann
Born place: in Lübeck, Germany
Born date June 6, 1875
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“Did I ever tell you that they nearly cut my dick off?’ ‘No,’ I said, uncertain whether this was something that had really happened or something he was misremembering in his delirium. ‘It’s true,’ he said. ‘The night before the Gardaí found me. They said that I had a choice. That they’d either pop one of my eyes out or cut my dick off. They told me I could choose which.’ ‘Jesus,’ I said. ‘I mean I would have said my eye, of course. Probably the one on the other side to the missing ear, just to balance things out. But can you imagine if they had cut my dick off? I wouldn’t be lying here right now, would I? None of this would have happened.’ ‘That’s one way of looking at it,’ I said. ‘They would have saved my life.’ ‘Maybe.’ ‘No, you’re right. I’d be dead already because I’d probably have killed myself if they’d cut my dick off. There’s no way I would have gone through my life dickless. It’s amazing, isn’t it, how one small part of our anatomy completely controls our lives?”
― John Boyne, quote from The Heart's Invisible Furies


“Memories had painful edges that could still cut.”
― Jeff Wheeler, quote from The King's Traitor


“This shouldn't make sense," I say.
"What?"
"Us. You and me."
He presses his forehead to mine. "But we do. Maybe it's crazy, yeah, but it makes sense. We make sense.”
― Ashley Herring Blake, quote from Suffer Love


“Now I see things differently. It took me some time, but I know the secret now. Freedman Town serves a good purpose -- not for the people who live there, Lord knows; people stuck there by poverty, by prejudice, by laws that keep them from moving or working. Freedman Town's purpose is for the rest of the world. The world that sits, like Martha, with dark glasses on, staring from a distance, scared but safe. Create a pen like that, give people no choice but to live like animals, and then people get to point at them and say 'Will you look at those animals? That's what kind of people those people are.' And that idea drifts up and out of Freedman Town like chimney smoke, black gets to mean poor and poor to mean dangerous and all the words get murked together and become one dark idea, a cloud of smoke, the smokestack fumes drifting like filthy air across the rest of the nation.”
― Ben H. Winters, quote from Underground Airlines


“The whole world is divided for me into two parts: one is she, and there is all happiness, hope, light; the other is where she is not, and there is dejection and darkness...”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from الحرب والسلم [War and Peace]


Interesting books

The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf
(8.3K)
The Art of Seducing...
by Molly Harper
Steps to Christ
(1.2K)
Steps to Christ
by Ellen G. White
The Joys of Motherhood
(3.6K)
The Joys of Motherho...
by Buchi Emecheta
The Restorer
(12.4K)
The Restorer
by Amanda Stevens
In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars
(388)
In the Hot Zone: One...
by Kevin Sites
Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry
(419)
Corporate Warriors:...
by P.W. Singer

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.