A solitary, unused to speaking of what he sees and

feels, has mental experiences which are at once more intense

and less articulate than those of a gregarious man. They

are sluggish, yet more wayward, and never without a melancholy

tinge. Sights and impressions which others brush aside with a

glance, a light comment, a smile, occupy him more than

their due; they sink silently in, they take on meaning,

they become experience, emotion, adventure. Solitude gives birth to the

original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous — to poetry.

It also gives birth to the opposite: to the absurd.


Paraphrases from the novella Death in Venice by Thomas Mann.