This music of yours. A manifestation of the highest energy—not at all abstract, but without an object, energy in a void, in pure ether—where else in the universe does such a thing appear? We Germans have taken over from philosophy the expression 'in itself,' we use it every day without much idea of the metaphysical. But here you have it, such music is energy itself, yet not as idea, rather in its actuality. I call your attention to the fact that is almost the definition of God. Imitatio Dei—I am surprised it is not forbidden.
Thomas Mann (1875–1955), German author, critic. Originally published as Doktor Faustus, Fischer (1947). Doctor Faustus, ch. 9, p. 78, trans. by Helen T. Lowe-Porter, Vintage Books, Random House (1948).