I may be permitted a general observation: that person is
fortunate in whose cradle some good fairy has placed the gift
of responding to pleasure, a perpetual responsiveness in
even the most unlikely circumstances. No doubt this
gift involves a heightening of responsiveness in
general, the reverse of insensitivity, and therefore brings
with it much pain which others are spared. But I cheerfully insist that the
increase in joy more than compensates for that disadvantage -- if
it is one -- and it is this gift of responsiveness to the
smallest and even the most commonplace pleasures that has always made me
consider truly appropriate my first and real Christian name, Felix,
about which my godfather Schimmelpreester felt so bitter.
Excerpt: Thomas Mann, Confessions of Felix Krull,
Confidence Man, The Early Years (trans. Denver Lindley), New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1955.