Thomas Mann Quotes

Most popular Thomas Mann Quotes

Speech is civilization itself.
— Thomas Mann
Beauty can pierce one like a pain.

beauty

The beautiful word begets the beautiful deed.

words

It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death.
— Thomas Mann
Act like a man of thought - Think like a man of action.
— Thomas Mann
Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.
— Thomas Mann
War is nothing but a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.

war

Human reason needs only to will more strongly than fate, and she is fate.
— Thomas Mann
A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
— Thomas Mann

writers

There are so many different kinds of stupidity, and cleverness is one of the worst.

stupidity

If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it.

ideas

To rest in the arms of perfection is the desire of any man intent upon creating excellence.

excellence

We artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide.

artists

Language is civilization itself.  The Word, even the most contradictory word, binds us together.  Wordlessness isolates.

language

Speech is civilization itself.  The word, even the most contradictory word, preserves contact—it is silence which isolates.

silence speech

For in almost every artist's nature is inborn a wanton and treacherous proneness to side with the beauty that breaks hearts.

beauty

Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm to announce the beginning of a new year. It is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.
— Thomas Mann

time

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.

solitude

I never can understand how anyone can not smoke—it deprives a man of the best part of life...with a good cigar in his mouth a man is perfectly safe, nothing can touch him—literally.

cigars Cigar

For in almost every artist's nature is inborn a wanton and treacherous proneness to side with the beauty that breaks hearts, to single out aristocratic pretensions and pay them homage.

artists

There is at bottom only one problem in the world, and this is its name.  How does one break through?  How does one get into the open?  How does one burst the cocoon and become a butterfly?

problems

I have always been an admirer.  I regard the gift of admiration to be, by all odds, the most indispensable for self-improvement.  Frankly, I cannot imagine where I would now be without it.

admiration

Time has no division to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year.  Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.

new year

To be grateful for all life's blessings...is the best condition for a happy life.  A joke, a good meal, a fine spring day, a work of art, a human personality, a voice, a glance—but this is not all.  For there is another kind of gratitude...the feeling that makes us thankful for suffering, for the hard and heavy things of life, for the deepening of our natures which perhaps only suffering can bring.

gratitude