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Freedom?

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And his favorite word, his ultimate emotional eloquence, the great bell with which he summoned others to the loftiest feasts of the soul—it lured many people…Freedom…He truly understood more and less by freedom than they did when cheering. Freedom—what did that mean? Certainly not a touch of civic dignity in front of princes and thrones. Do you people even dream just what a mind dares to mean with that word? Freedom from what? Ultimately from what else? Perhaps even from happiness, from human happiness, that silken fetter, that soft sweet bond…

-Thomas Mann, Harsh Hour

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