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Steppenwolf (Penguin Modern Classics) by…

Steppenwolf (Penguin Modern Classics) (original 1927; edition 2001)

by Hermann Hesse

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9,083104330 (4.03)205
Title:Steppenwolf (Penguin Modern Classics)
Authors:Hermann Hesse
Info:Penguin Classics (2001), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Owned Books

Work details

Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse (1927)

  1. 71
    Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse (PandorasRequiem)
  2. 20
    Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (snipermatze)
  3. 20
    Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (GaryPatella)
    GaryPatella: The protagonist in Nausea has a very similar personality to the protagonist in Steppenwolf. Both books have that same gloomy feel to them.
  4. 20
    The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster (Smiler69)
  5. 10
    The Hothouse by Wolfgang Koeppen (Liondancer)
    Liondancer: Die Persönlichkeit des "Treibhaus"-Abgeordneten Keetenheuve erinnert mich sehr an den "Steppenwolf" Harry Haller.
  6. 10
    Herzog by Saul Bellow (roby72)
  7. 11
    The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (caflores)
  8. 00
    Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Fight Club could be read as an updated rewriting of Steppenwolf, with Hermine replaced by Tyler Durden, and the dance hall transformed to the fight club. Maria becomes Marla, and the Magic Theater becomes Operation Mayhem.
  9. 22
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (owen1218)
  10. 00
    Abel Sanchez by Miguel de Unamuno (Neurasthenio)
  11. 26
    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (Smiler69)
  12. 28
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (roby72)

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English (83)  Spanish (8)  German (5)  French (3)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
A journey through inner soul: Dueling polarities within one entity ( )
1 vote MetropolitanBlues | Oct 25, 2015 |
This is a very interesting book about the Steppenwolf, a man who believes himself to be half Harry and half wolf.
It is a gripping story filled with unexpected strange incidents and fantastic characters. ( )
  Haidji | Sep 14, 2015 |
When I mentioned to my Other Reader that I had begun reading this book, she said "re-reading, you mean?" When I said, no, reading for the first time, she said she felt shocked, betrayed even, that I had not read this book in my youth. Then, strangely enough, I read the 1961 "Author's Note," where Hesse speculates that much readerly misunderstanding of his intentions as a writer in this novel was "by reason of the fact that this book, written when I was fifty years old and dealing, as it does, with the problems of that age, often fell into the hands of very young readers." Having now read it myself, I feel the text justifies the idea that it was written by a man roughly my age, about a man roughly my age, and for men roughly my age.

This novel has a documentary conceit, according to which it is the "records" (journal) of Harry Haller, recovered and published by Haller's landlady's nephew. The primary effect of this framing is to allow some "objective" characterization of Haller from the nephew's perspective before the story begins in earnest. Haller is himself an alienated intellectual product of the bourgeoisie in interwar Germany. He is divorced, living alone, spending his time on literature and music without any evidence of productive employment.

The "Steppenwolf" of the title is at first a sort of nickname for Haller, which is later understood as his alter-ego or psychological shadow, and perhaps ultimately as his genius or instinctual spirit. But it may be that Haller's tutelary spirit is really figured by the girl Hermine, whom he meets when he is in a suicidal funk, and who grooms him to a new appreciation of life outside the blinkered cultural sphere he had inhabited. Hermine is, after all, the feminine of Herman: Haller's author.

(Digression: Now it occurs to me that Palahniuk's Fight Club could be read as an updated rewriting of Steppenwolf, with Hermine replaced by Tyler Durden, and the dance hall transformed to the fight club. Maria becomes Marla, and the Magic Theater becomes Operation Mayhem.)

Another key character is the musician Pablo, to whom Hermine introduces Haller. Despite Haller's initial dim view of this man, he appears to be in truth a saint or higher adept of an interior circle, and he presides over the Magic Theater where Haller's story culminates in a psychedelic initiatory ordeal. This ordeal might be glossed as the Adventure of the Abyss, in which the Tragedy of Man is to be dissolved into the Comedy of Pan.

My esoteric speculations aside, this short novel amply repays reading. It was seen as a notorious defect of Hesse's oeuvre when it was first published in the first half of the twentieth century, and then rehabilitated and valorized by the counter-culture of the second. Its relationship to our current social circumstance is not evident, yet its primary concern is not with society, but with the individual, and the nature of spiritual attainment and possibilities for self-redemption.
8 vote paradoxosalpha | Sep 10, 2015 |
An example of a great inner conflict, where the civilized side of Harry Haller is in direct clash with the primitive wolf inside him, bringing him at times close to peril. The powerful Hermine reconciles the two sides a bit when she teaches him to dance, but then also deepens his conflict in regard to his relation with Maria and Pablo. A bit suffocating, but a potent drama, with clear influences from Carl Gustave Jung’s vision in action. ( )
1 vote CorinneT | Aug 12, 2015 |
I'm not sure if Steppenwolf is me in 25 years or me now. I am sure, though, that this book is amazing. For madmen only. ( )
1 vote trilliams | May 30, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (65 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hesse, Hermannprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Creighton, BasilTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manner, Eeva-LiisaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peter MagnusTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradac, JaroslavIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dekker, MauritsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pocar, ErvinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sorell, WalterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book contains the records left us by a man whom, according to the expression he often used himself, we called the Steppenwolf.
Ah, Harry, we have to stumble through so much dirt and humbug before we reach home. And we have no one to guide us. Our only guide is our homesickness.
I had the taste of blood and chocolate in my mouth, the one as hateful as the other.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312278675, Paperback)

With its blend of Eastern mysticism and Western culture, Hesse’s best-known and most autobiographical work is one of literature’s most poetic evocations of the soul’s journey to liberation

Harry Haller is a sad and lonely figure, a reclusive intellectual for whom life holds no joy. He struggles to reconcile the wild primeval wolf and the rational man within himself without surrendering to the bourgeois values he despises. His life changes dramatically when he meets a woman who is his opposite, the carefree and elusive Hermine. The tale of the Steppenwolf culminates in the surreal Magic Theater—For Madmen Only!

Originally published in English in 1929, Steppenwolf ’s wisdom continues to speak to our souls and marks it as a classic of modern literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:28 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"With its blend of Eastern mysticism and Western culture, Hesse's best-known and most autobiographical work is one of literature's most poetic evocations of the soul's journey to liberation."--Publisher's website.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014118289X, 0141045531, 0241951526, 0141192097

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