And nevertheless he was happy. For happiness, he told himself, does not consist in being loved; that merely gratifies one’s vanity and is mingled with repugnance. Happiness consists in loving — and perhaps snatching a few little moments of illusory nearness to the beloved. And he inwardly noted down this reflection, thought out all its implications and savored it to its very depths.
— Thomas Mann, Tonio Kröger