the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

quotes: unspeakable relations

Posted by rigorousm on January 17, 2011

There can be no relation more strange, more critical, than that between two beings who know each other only with their eyes, who meet daily, yes, even hourly, eye each other with a fixed regard, and yet by some whim or freak of convention feel constrained to act like strangers. Uneasiness rules between them, unslaked curiosity, a hysterical desire to give rein to their suppressed impulse to recognize and address each other; even, actually, a sort of strained but mutual regard. For one human being instinctively feels respect and love for another human being so love as he does not know him well enough to judge him; and that he does not, the craving he feels is evidence.

– Thomas Mann, Death in Venice p. 30.

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