Gustav von Aschenbach: You cannot reach the spirit with the senses. You cannot. It's only by complete domination of the senses that you can ever achieve wisdom, truth, and human dignity.
Alfred: Wisdom. Truth. Human Dignity. All finished! Now there is no reason why you cannot go to your grave with your music.
Gustav von Aschenbach: You know sometimes I think that artists are rather like hunters aiming in the dark. They don't know what their target is, and they don't know if they've hit it. But you can't expect life to illuminate the target and steady your aim. The creation of beauty and purity is a spiritual act.
Alfred: No Gustav, no. Beauty belongs to the senses. Only to the senses.