The Decline of a Family
Buddenbrooks: Verfall einer Familie
First translation into English
Literary, family saga
Approx. 243,000 words
"What does this mean.—What—does this mean...."
"Why, even the lamps aren't lighted. That's going too far with the revolution."
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.
What is success? It is an inner, an indescribable force, resourcefulness, power of vision; a consciousness that I am, by my mere existence, exerting pressure on the movement of life about me.
Beauty can pierce one like pain.
Death was a blessing, so great, so deep that we can fathom it only at those moments, like this one now, when we are reprieved from it. It was the return home from long, unspeakably painful wanderings, the correction of a great error, the loosening of tormenting chains, the removal of barriers—it set a horrible accident to rights again.
There she stood, victorious in the good fight that she had waged all her life against the onslaughts of reason. There she stood, hunch-backed and tiny, trembling with certainty—an inspired, scolding little prophet.