Book 3: Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf is the tenth novel by German-Swiss author Hermann Hesse. Originally published in Germany in 1927, it was first translated into English in 1929. Combining autobiographical and psychoanalytic elements, the novel was named after the lonesome wolf of the steppes. The story in large part reflects a profound crisis in Hesse’s spiritual world in the 1920s while memorably portraying the protagonist’s split between his humanity, and his wolf-like aggression and homelessness. The novel became an international success, although Hesse would later claim that the book was largely misunderstood.

– From Wikipedia

My poor fecundity means I’m introducing Steppenwolf having already read half of it. Briefly, it is blistering, insightful and brilliantly poetic, but such very hard work. One unique element of reading this book is that I can’t help but be aware of the person who recommended it. It is in its style and substance Adam all over.

A full write up will surface when I’ve finished the book.

Has anyone else read Steppenwolf? Has anyone else who knows Adam read Steppenwolf?

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2 thoughts on “Book 3: Steppenwolf

  1. Pingback: 2012′s 26 book challenge: The list | Al Online

  2. Yes, I’ve read it. As you say, one can’t say it isn’t well written, but also I did find it hard work; almost a strain – a stress – to read. Maybe that feeling is one created deliberately by the author.but that doesn’t make the experience more enjoyable! I think this is a hard read, and that is one reason I am sad I didn’t get a chance to comment on your list as it was being drawn up because the interesting thing is that not all Hesse books are like this! (Altough many/most? do have a raher depressing theme…) Some are a positlve joy to read! A really beautiful, moving, inspiring and wonderful book is ‘Siddhartha’. This would be my recommendation. Simple and beautiful, there is no difficulty in reading this, only joy.

    So far I’ve read:
    – Siddhartha (as above)
    – Demian (nice, readable, still a bit bleak. my dad bought this for me to take travellling….)
    – Prodigy (Bleak! Reasonable struggle to read, but, well written)
    – Klingsor’s Last summer (A reasonable struggle to stay involved, but as ever, well written. Challenging but rewarding? I would not recommend to many, only people who I know like this kind of book, ie Adam).

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