Thomas Mann’s “The Magic Mountain” Quotes (16 Quotes)

    We do not fear being called meticulous, inclining as we do to the view that only the exhaustive can be truly interesting.

    You have never spent any time in theatrical circles, have you? So you do not know those thespian faces that can embody the features of a Julius Caesar, a Goethe and a Beethoven all in one, but whose owners, the moment they open their mouths, prove to be the most miserable ninnies under the sun.

    And for its part, what was life? Was it perhaps only an infectious disease of matterùjust as the so-called spontaneous generation of matter was perhaps only an illness, a cancerous stimulation of the immaterial?

    But was it not true that there were people, certain individuals, whom one found it impossible to picture dead, precisely because they were so vulgar? That was to say: they seemed so fit for life, so good at it, that they would never die, as if they were unworthy of the consecration of death.

    Frau St÷hr, however, who happened to be sitting not all that far from the trio, had apparently abandoned herself to the film; her red, uneducated face was contorted with pleasure.

    He thought what a fine thing it was that people made music all over the world, even in the strangest settings û probably even on polar expeditions.

    He was simply not a ôheroö, which is to say, he did not let his relationship with the man be determined by the woman.

    I hope that you have nothing against malice, my good engineer. In my eyes it is the brightest sword that reason has against the powers of darkness and ugliness. Malice, sir, is the spirit of criticism, and criticism marks the origin of progress and enlightenment.

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

    It is remarkable how a man cannot summarize his thoughts in even the most general sort of way without betraying himself completely, without putting his whole self into it, quite unawares, presenting as if in allegory the basic themes and problems of his life.

    It was, however, strikingùin the best sense of the wordùthat precisely those rules that corresponded exactly to their overseersÆ economic interests enjoyed unconditional veneration, whereas rules for which said correspondence was less applicable were more likely to be winked at.

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