Thomas Mann, 1875-1955

“The observations and encounters of the solitary and mute one are at the same time more blurry and more distinctive than those of the more sociable person, his thoughts more substantial, stranger, and never without a trace of sadness. Images and perceptions that would be easy to dismiss with a laugh, a short exchange of words, occupy him excessively and grow deeper and more important in silence, become experience, adventure, emotion. Solitude favors the original, the daringly and otherworldly beautiful, the poem. But it also favors the wrongful, the extreme, the absurd, and the forbidden.”

“Composure under the blows of fate, grace in the midst of torment – this is not only endurance, it is an active achievement, a positive triumph, and the figure of St Sebastian is the most perfect symbol if not of art in general, then certainly the kind of art here is question.”

“His love of the ocean had profound sources: the hard-worked artist’s longing for rest, his yearning to seek refuge from the thronging manifold shapes of the bosom of the simple and vast; and another yearning, opposed to his art and perhaps for that very reason a lure, for the unorganized, the immeasurable, the eternal—in short, for nothingness. He whose preoccupation is with excellence longs fervently to find rest in perfection; and is not nothingness a form of perfection?”

“Nothing is stranger and more delicate than the relationship between people who know each other only with their eyes, who meet daily, even hourly, and yet are compelled, by force of custom of their own caprices, to say no word or make no move of acknowledgment, but to maintain the appearance of an aloof unconcern. There is a restlessness and a surcharged curiosity existing between them, the hysteria of an unsatisfied, unnaturally repressed desire for acquaintanceship and interchange; and especially there is a kind of tense respect. Because one person loves and honours another so long as he cannot judge him, and desire is a product of incomplete knowledge.”

“Yes, personally speaking too, art heightens life. She gives deeper joy, she consumes more swiftly. She engraves adventures of the spirit and the mind in the faces of her votaries; let them lead outwardly a life of the most cloistered calm, she will in the end produce in them a fastidiousness an over-refinement, a nervous fever and exhaustion, such as a career of extravagant passion and pleasures can hardly show.”

“Yet whether the pilgrim air the stranger wore kindled his fantasy or whether some other physical or psychical influence came in plays he could not tell; but he felt the most surprising consciousness of a widening of inward barriers, a kind of vaulting unrest, a youthful ardent thirst for distant scenes—a feeling so lively and so new, or at least so long ago outgrown and forgot, that he stood there rooted to the spot, his eyes on the ground and his hands clasped behind him, exploring these sentiments of his, their bearing and scope.”

… He spoke to him of the intense trepidation the man of feeling experiences when his eye beholds a representation of eternal beauty; he spoke to him of the desires of the base and impious man who cannot acknowledge beauty when he sees its likeness and is incapable of reverence; he spoke of the holy terror that seizes the noble man when a godlike countenance or perfect body appears before him, how he trembles and loses control and can hardly bring himself to look, yet respects it and would even make sacrifices unto it as he might unto a graven image were he not fearful of seeming foolish in the eyes of men. For beauty, my dear Phaedrus, and beauty alone is at once desirable and visible: it is, mark my words, the only form of the spiritual we can receive through our senses and tolerate thereby. Think what would become of us were the godhead or reason and virtue and truth to appear before our eyes! Should we not perish in the flames of love, as did Semele beholding Zeus? Hence beauty is the path the man of feeling takes to the spiritual, though merely the path, dear young Phaedrus, a means and no more … And then he made his most astute pronouncement, the crafty wooer, namely, that the lover is more divine than the beloved, because the god dwells in the former, not the latter, which is perhaps the most delicate, most derisive thought ever thought by man and the source of all the roguery and deep-seated lust in longing.

Nothing gladdens a writer more than a thought that can become pure feeling and a feeling that can become pure thought. Just such a pulsating thought, just such a precise feeling was then in the possession and service of the solitary traveler: nature trembles with bliss when the mind bows in homage to beauty… .

 

Kirjaniku õnn on omada ideed, mis suudab muutuda tundeks, ning tunnet, mis suudab muutuda ideeks.

 

bjorn andresen1

death

Björn Andresen, Dirk Bogarde

#death in venice #Luchino Visconti

Luchino Visconti,  Björn Andrésen

Jumal, anna mulle meelekindlust
leppida asjadega, mida ma ei saa muuta,
julgust muuta asju, mida ma saan muuta
ja tarkust nende vahel vahet teha.

 

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.