"Life, young man, is a female.
A sprawling female,
with swelling breasts close to each other,
great soft belly between her haunches,
slender arms, bulging thighs,
half-closed eyes. She mocks us.
She chal-lenges us to expend our manhood
to its uttermost span,
to stand or fall before her.
To stand or fall.
To fall, young man—
do you know what that means?
The defeat of the feelings,
their overthrow when confronted by life —
that is impotence.
For it there is no mercy,
it is pitilessly, mockingly condemned.—
Not a word, young man!
Spewed out of the mouth.
Shame and ignominy are soft words
for the ruin and bankruptcy,
the horrible disgrace.
It is the end of everything,
the hellish despair, the Judgment Day."
(Herr Peeperkorn from The Magic Mountain)