Some more nuggets excavated from Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain:
Her sex knows no pity or concern when staring at the horrors of passion, an elemental emotion with which the female is apparently much more familiar than the male, who is not at all at ease with it – and if she finds him in that state she never fails to greet him with mockery and schadenfreude.
At most, her smile and voice suggested the kind of excitement that comes when the first words in a long, silent relationship are spoken at last – a subtle excitement secretly incorporating into this one moment everything that has happened until now.
And there’s this, which was more prophetic than Mann knew:
“No!” Naphta continued. “The mystery and precept of our age is not liberation and development of the ego. What our age needs, what it demands, what it will create for itself, is – terror.”