Even Strangers: My Favorite Excerpt from Death In Venice by Thomas Mann:

Page 49.

“There can be no relation more strange, more critical, than that between two beings who know each other only with their eyes, who meet daily, yes, even hourly, eye each other with a fixed regard, and yet by some whim or freak of convention, feel constrained to act like strangers.

Uneasiness rules between them, unslaked curiosity, a hysterical desire to give rein to their surpressed impulse to recognize and address each other; even actually, a sort of strained but mutual regard. For one human being instinctively feels respect and love for another human being so long as he does not know him well enough to judge him;  and that he does not, the craving he feels is evidence.

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