— Thomas Mann German novelist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate 1875 - 1955
Context: I think of my suffering, of the problem of my suffering. What am I suffering from? From knowledge — is it going to destroy me? What am I suffering from? From sexuality — is it going to destroy me? How I hate it, this knowledge which forces even art to join it! How I hate it, this sensuality, which claims everything fine and good is its consequence and effect. Alas, it is the poison that lurks in everything fine and good! — How am I to free myself of knowledge? By religion? How am I to free myself of sexuality? By eating rice?
Letter from Naples, Italy to Otto Grautoff (1896); as quoted in A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (2005) by Lewis A. Lawson, p. 34