Shelves: modernist-movement , 5-star-reads Hermann Hesses words are timeless. Here they represent an entire disaffected generation, a generation who is on the cusp of radical change but still partly exists in the old world. They are out of space and out of time: they are lost within themselves. However, such things can aptly be applied to a number of individuals across the ages. And, for me, this is what made the novel so great. Through these pages Hesse evokes a character I have seen many times before across literature, but never before with such clarity.
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Shelves: modernist-movement , 5-star-reads Hermann Hesses words are timeless. Here they represent an entire disaffected generation, a generation who is on the cusp of radical change but still partly exists in the old world.
They are out of space and out of time: they are lost within themselves. However, such things can aptly be applied to a number of individuals across the ages.
And, for me, this is what made the novel so great. Through these pages Hesse evokes a character I have seen many times before across literature, but never before with such clarity. Harry Haller is one such man. His intellect is, undoubtedly, worthy of genius, though such a thing is wasted because he has no proper channel for such intellect. He has lost his faith in humanity and has completely withdrawn from the world, so he makes his own world: he has created his own ideal environment within his thoughts.
His loneliness is that extreme, he has written an idealised account of his life that never happened. He wants hope, so he creates it himself in the form of a counterpart, a soul mate: Hermione. She gives him back everything he has lost, his confidence, his hope and his sexual energy. He has passion or life once more. And this is why the novel is so terribly sad.
None of this is actually happening; it is the desperate ramblings of a mind trying to heal itself in a world where it can find no sense of belonging or purpose. This imagined woman becomes a lifeline, a beacon in the middle of the dark shores of modernisation. As per the surrealist mode, reality is warped in an attempt to find some higher truth.
Her presence is the only thing preventing Harry from killing himself and surrendering to the endless sleep. For Harry is a man split in two: he is the Steppenwolf. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside of them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself.
He has all the sensibilities of a normal man, but overshadowing his character is the romantic longings of a wild creature. In such a modern world his desires and natural drives are unfulfilled; they are repressed and controlled resulting in severe depression and low mood. He cannot be who he was meant to be because the space he exists in does not allow it.
The time, the age, does not allow it. So he is trapped, and he so desperately needs a root out. That much so he makes one up for himself out of words. The switch between reality and imagination is extremely hard to notice within the narrative. It happens very early on, and there are many different layers of storytelling. The story we are hearing is actually a journal penned by Steppenwolf and read by the hotel manager. Although the narrative does raise questions, many really, it is not until the end of the novel that the ripples of doubt are confirmed as delusional confirmations.
Perception is everything here, perception of the self and of the world. Although such complex imagining may sound detrimental to mental health, they take on the form of a coping strategy for such a lost individual. Particularly the young and the dispossessed will relate to his tale. I know I do in part. A resolution would have been unnecessary here because that is not what Hesse is trying to show us.
Instead with Steppenwolf we receive a vision of a man who has wasted his life in self-pity and self-induced isolation.
Stepski vuk je napisan Hesse je Stepskog vuka provukao kroz psihoanalizu te se kroz glavnog junaka nastojao objasniti samome sebi. Stanovao je devet ili deset mjeseci kod njih, tiho i usamljeno. Hallerovu usamljenost je spoznao tek iz njegovih zapisa. Priznaje da je tek kasnije doznao da je Haller bio bolestan i da mu hodanje zadaje muke. Katkad je za njegove odsutnosti zalazio u njegovu sobu. Nije za svakoga.
Herman Hesse – Stepski Vuk Knjiga