"It comes from an era of superstitious contrition, when the idea of humanity was demeaned and distorted into a caricature, a fearful era, when harmony and health were considered suspicious and devilish, whereas infirmity in those days was as good as a passport to heaven. Reason and enlightenment, however, have banished those shadows, which once lay encamped in the human soul--not entirely, however, for even today the battle is still being waged. That battle, however, is called work, sir, earthly labor, work for the earth, for the honor and interests of humankind. And steeled by each new day in battle, the powers of reason and enlightenment will liberate the human race entirely and lead it forth on paths of progress and civilization toward an even brighter, milder, and purer light." --Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain", trans John E. Woods.