Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I first read this book as part of an eleventh grade history project that involved putting a book into its historical context. I have a vague recollection that the radio was very symbolic in that essay. The assignment was a bit of a turning point for me - I loved to read but never quite got how we were supposed to analyze books and identify symbols in English class. This is probably where my first major in university came from. So, the book keeps its four stars simply because it was such a pivotal book in my life.
This read through it was a bit more of a three star read. I think as a teenager I was a bit more inclined to be sympathetic to Harry's disdain of popular culture and outsider status. Now I just find him to be a grumpy old man who grumbles about kids these days. I did think the book had momentary flashes of genius though.
Plus, this time round when he referenced Borobudur, I knew what it was because I've just been there. Dude was well travelled.
"these pictures - there are hundreds of them, with names and without - all came back. They rose fresh and new out of this night of love, and I knew again, what in. My wretchedness I had forgotten, that they were my life's possession and all its worth. Indestructible and abiding as the stars, these experiences, though forgotten, could never be erased their series wastage story of y life, their starry night the undying value of my being. My life had become weariness. It had wandered in a maze of unhappiness tha Ed to renunciation and nothingness; it was bitter with the salt of all human things; yet it had laid up riches, riches to be proud of."
"Nobody wants to avoid the next war, nobody wants to spare himself and his children the next holocaust if this isto be the cost. To reflect for one moment, to examine himself for a while and ask what share he has in the world's confusion and wickedness - look you, nobody wants to do that."
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