Thursday, September 13, 2007

Childbirth, Thomas Mann and The Black Swan

... Our sex behaves differently about it, it takes pain more patiently, we are long suffering, born for pain, so to speak. Because, above all, we know the natural and healthy pain, the God-ordained and sacred pain of children, which is something absoluately peculiar to women, something men are spared, or denied .... When I bought you into the world, Anna, it was very bad. From the first pain it lasted thirty-six hours, and Tummler ran around the apartment the whole time with his head in his hands, but despite everything it was a festival of life, and I wasn't screaming, it was screaming, it was a sacred ecstasy of pain.

From Thomas Mann's 1954 short story The Black Swan.

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