Why Readers Like Books

“For an important intellectual product to be immediately weighty, a deep relationship or concordance has to exist between the life of its creator and the general lives of the people. These people are generally unaware why exactly they praise a certain work of art. Far from being truly knowledgeable, they perceive it to have a hundred different benefits to justify their adulation; but the real underlying reason for their behavior cannot be measured, is sympathy.”

Thomas Mann, Death in Venice:

http://archive.org/stream/DeathInVenice/DeathInVenice-ThomasMann_djvu.txt

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