25 Thomas Mann Quotes About The Nature Of The Soul

We have you covered if you are looking for intellectual and psychologically stimulating Thomas Mann quotes. 

Historians and critics acknowledge Thomas Mann as one of Germany’s finest writers who used his abilities to question the human soul. 

Who was Thomas Mann?

Paul Thomas Mann was a talented German novelist. 

Readers celebrate his work’s ability to express aspects of human nature intellectually. 

Check out these cool Thomas Mann facts below: 

  • Mann won the Noble Prize in Literature in 1929. 
  • Mann opposed Nazism, and his family was forced to exile their home. 
  • Thomas Mann had six children, and three of them became authors as well. 

He was influenced by the works of Nietzsche, Goethe, and Schopenhauer, and he often addressed their work in his writings. 

Mann delved deep into his era’s psychological and spiritual teachings to write critically acclaimed stories and essays about death, truth, humankind, and relationships. 

Why did Thomas Mann win the Nobel Prize?

Mann was a multitalented writer of fiction and novels. 

His father was a merchant and expected him to take on the family business, but Mann knew early on he was meant to be a writer. 

He won the Nobel Prize for his breakthrough novel, Buddenbrooks, which was published in 1901. 

The novel tells the story of the decline of a German family while also bringing to life his background as a German youth coming of age. 

What religion was Thomas Mann?

For part of his life, Mann lived in the United States. 

While in America, he became involved with the Unitarian Church. 

Their official website states, “The Unitarian church has a theological orientation that aspires to creativity, freedom, and compassion with respect for diversity and interconnectedness.” 

In his letters, Mann wrote, “The First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles is particularly close to my heart and mind.” 

Perhaps the church’s spiritual growth, social justice, and education goals drew a mind like Mann’s. 

To learn more, check out our Thomas Mann quotes below. 

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Short Thomas Mann quotes that will blow your mind

Thomas Mann was a writer who needed few words to move people’s emotions. 

1. “The beautiful word begets the beautiful deed.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

2. “Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

3. “It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

4. “A man’s dying is more the survivor’s affair than his own.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

5. “Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

More Thomas Mann quotes from The Magic Mountain

The Magain Mountain is one of Mann’s most influential novels.

Below are some of the most memorable quotes from the story of Hans Castorp

6. “Though honor might possess certain advantages, yet shame had others, and not inferior.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

7. “I love and reverence the Word, the bearer of the spirit, the tool and gleaming plowshare of progress.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

8. “What good would politics be if it didn’t give everyone the opportunity to make moral compromises.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

9. “Is not the pastness of the past the more profound, the more legendary, the more immediately it falls before the present?” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

10. “Time has no divisions to mark its passage. There is never a thunderstorm 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.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

The best Thomas Mann quotes celebrating bildungsroman and buddenbrooks 

Mann is recognized for his contributions to the literary style of bildungsroman, which focuses on the moral growth of a character from childhood to adulthood. 

11. “War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.” — Thomas Mann, This I Believe 

12. “The writer’s joy is the thought that can become emotion, the emotion that can wholly become a thought.” — Thomas Mann, Death in Venice 

13. “I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide.” — Thomas Mann, Death in Venice 

14. “Solitude produces originality, bold and astonishing beauty, poetry. But solitude also produces perverseness, the disproportionate, the absurd, and the forbidden.” — Thomas Mann, Death in Venice 

15. “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.” — Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks 

Famous Thomas Mann quotes about life, paradox, and time

Mann was the type of writer who could capture a mood or an epiphany with his pen. 

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16. “A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” — Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades

17. “Paradox is the poisonous flower of quietism, the iridescent surface of the rotting mind, the greatest depravity of all.” — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

18. “Hold fast the time! Guard it, watch over it, every hour, every minute! Unregarded, it slips away, like a lizard, smooth, slippery, faithless, a pixy wife.” — Thomas Mann, The Beloved Returns

19. “Fanaticism turns into a means of salvation, enthusiasm into epileptic ecstasy, politics becomes an opiate for the masses, a proletarian eschatology; and reason veils her face.” — Thomas Mann, An Appeal to Reason 

20. “Life is not the means for the achievement of an esthetic ideal of perfection; on the contrary, the work is an ethical symbol of life.” — Thomas Mann, Reflections of a Non-Political Man

Famous Thomas Mann quotes about the power of myths in life

Mann was a believer that myths and stories were essential to human culture

21. “The myth is the foundation of life.” — Thomas Mann, Freud, and the Future

22. “Has the world ever been changed by anything save the thought and its magic vehicle, the Word?” — Thomas Mann, Freud, and the Future

23. [The myth] is the timeless schema, the pious formula into which life flows when it reproduces its traits out of the unconscious.” — Thomas Mann, Freud, and the Future

24. “For while in the life of the human race the mythical is an early and primitive stage, in the life of the individual it is a late and mature one.” — Thomas Mann, Freud, and the Future

25. “Certainly when a writer has acquired the habit of regarding life as mythical and typical, there comes a curious heightening of his artistic temper, a new refreshment to his perceiving and shaping powers, which otherwise occurs much later in life.” — Thomas Mann, Freud, and the Future

What was Thomas Mann’s philosophy?

Some minds are so nuanced that labeling them as identifying with one philosophy can be difficult. 

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Many aspects of life are not black and white and require a gray area to understand fully. 

Thomas Mann was the type of person who focused on the efficacy and work ethic of his family. 

In his view, pursuing money, comfort, and social influence was not fulfilling to the spirit.

He sought to create a balance between the physical world and the etheric world. 

His writings suggest that Mann preferred careful thought and philosophy over self-centered paradigms of work and leisure. 

He was an artist, and many artists know that being an artist does not always pay the bills. 

He covers these powerful themes in his Nobel Prize-winning novel, Buddenbrooks

Do you have a favorite quote or novel by Thomas Mann?

If so, please tell us about it in the comments section below. 

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