genius mann

If God is All, then He is also the Devil, and one cannot approach to the godlike without at the same time approaching to the diabolic—so that, in a manner of speaking, heaven looks at you out of one eye, and the hell of the iciest negation and most destructive neutrality out of the other. But whether they lie close together or far apart, it is two eyes, my dear lady, that make up one gaze. So now I ask you: what sort of gaze is that wherein the horrifying contradiction of the two eyes is united? I will tell you, tell you and myself: it is the gaze of absolute art, which is at once absolute love and absolute nihilism and indifference, and implies that horrifying approach to the godlike-diabolic which we call genius.

Thomas Mann, Lotte in Weimar