Home > Uncategorized > Thomas Mann: War is a blood-orgy of egotism, corruption, and vileness

Thomas Mann: War is a blood-orgy of egotism, corruption, and vileness

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Thomas Mann: Selections on war

====

Thomas Mann
From The German Republic (1922)
H.T. Lowe-Porter

220px-Thomas-Mann-um-1939

War is romantic. No one has ever denied the mystic and poetic element residing in it. But today only the insensible world would deny that it is utterly debased romanticism, an utter distortion of the poetic. To save our national feeling from falling into disrepute, to keep it from becoming a curse, we must learn to understand that a warlike and brawling spirit is not its whole content, but more and more absolutely a cult of peace, in accord with the mysticism and poetry in its nature.

***

The side of peace is my side too, as being the side of culture, thought and art, whereas in a war vulgarity triumphs…The peoples of the world are old and sophisticated, their epic and heroic stage lies far in the past, any attempt to return to it involves a desperate revolt against the decree of time and constitutes a spiritual insincerity. War is a lie, its issues are a lie; whatever honorable emotion the individual may bring to it, that itself today is stripped of all honor, and to any straight and clear-eyed vision reveals itself as the triumph of all that is brutal and vulgar in the soul of the race, as the arch-foe of culture and thought, as a blood-orgy of egotism, corruption, and vileness.

***

But the god of battles is no more. The god has degenerated into a repulsive idol; to bring him offerings is out of date, quixotic.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: