Death in Venice Chapter 2 - Thomas Mann

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He was young and had been rough with time, listening to its bad advice he had made mistakes, had compromised himself, had trespassed against good behavior and prudence, both in his words and works. But he had gained that dignity towards which every genius has an inner drive, one could even say that his whole development had been a conscious and defiant ascent towards dignity, an ascent that defied all those hindrances of doubt and irony.

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