Thomas Mann

Literary Birthday – 6 June – Thomas Mann

Thomas Mann was born 6 June 1875, and died 12 August 1955.


  1. A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
  2. Art is the funnel, as it were, through which spirit is poured into life.
  3. Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject.
  4. While I am writing, the sea’s roar is coming up to me, and I close my eyes. I am looking into an unborn and shapeless world that longs to be called to life and order, I am looking into a throng of phantoms of human forms which beckon me to conjure them and set them free: some of them tragic, some of them ridiculous, and some that are both at once.
  5. Beauty can pierce one like pain.
  6. In books we never find anything but ourselves. Strangely enough, that always gives us great pleasure, and we say the author is a genius.
  7. Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.
  8. War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.
  9. We are most likely to get angry and excited in our opposition to some idea when we ourselves are not quite certain of our own position, and are inwardly tempted to take the other side.
  10. If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it.
  11. There are so many different kinds of stupidity, and cleverness is one of the worst.
  12. Every reasonable human being should be a moderate Socialist.

Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, essayist and philanthropist. He was awarded the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was known for his series of symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, which included The Magic Mountain and Death in Venice.

Source for Image – pa/dpa (anonymous) (the author never disclosed his/her identity), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 6th June 2014