May 8, 2011

Who Cannot Love Thomas Mann?

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:39 by Miracle

(Excerpts from Death in Venice)

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Solitude gives birth to the original in us,
to beauty unfamiliar and perilous – to poetry.

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Thought that can merge wholly into feeling, feeling that can merge wholly into thought – these are the artist’s highest joy.

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…was it not known and familiar to him, the artist? Was not the same force at work in himself when he strove in cold fury to liberate from the marble mass of language the slender forms of his art which he saw with the eye of his mind and would body forth to men as the mirror and image of spiritual beauty?

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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 his fancy in the bosom of the simple and vast; and another yearning, opposed to his art and for that very reason a lure, for the unorganized, the immeasurable, the eternal – in short, for nothingness.

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At the world’s edge began a strewing of roses, a shining and blooming ineffably pure; baby cloudlets hung illumined, like attendant amoretti, in the blue and hushful haze; purple effulgence fell upon the sea, that seemed to heave it forward on its welling waves; from horizon to zenith went great quivering thrusts like golden lances, the gleam became a glare and rolling flames streamed upwards, and with flying hoof-beats the steeds of the sun-god mounted the sky. The lonely watcher sat, the splendour of the god shone on him, he closed his eyes and let the glory kiss his lids.

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But evening too was rarely lovely: balsamic with the breath of flowers and shrubs from the near-by park, while overhead the constellations circled in their spheres, and the murmuring of the night-girted sea swelled softly up and whispered to the soul. Such nights as these contained the joyful promise of a sunlit morrow, brim-full of sweetly ordered idleness, studded thick with countless possibilities.

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Who shall unriddle the puzzle of the artist nature?

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Photo Credits:
V. Galvez
T. Martin
Ahhoi
H. Boot

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