Book #5 of 2004:
Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice and Other Stories
Elegant self-control concealing from the world’s eyes until the very last moment a state of inner disintegration and biological decay; sallow ugliness, sensuously marred and worsted, which nevertheless is able to fan its smouldering concupiscence to a pure flame, and even to exalt itself to mastery in the realm of beauty; pallid impotence, which from the glowing depths of the spirit draws strength to cast down a whole proud people at the foot of the Cross and set its own foot upon them as well; gracious poise and compusure in the empty austere service of form; the false, dangerous life of the born deciver, his ambition and his art which lead so soon to exhaustion – to contemplate all these destinies, and many others like them, was to doubt if there is any other heroism at all but the heroism of weakness.
Oh, but there is.
That’s a SINGLE SENTENCE, people.
I have always been an advocate of more evocative and less detailed writing. I think Mr. Mann has shown admirable restraint with this sentence.
Surely, in terms of internet parlance, that should be “Yay, me too!”, should it not?