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BENEATH THE WHEEL. by Hermann. Hesse
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BENEATH THE WHEEL. (original 1906; edition 1968)

by Hermann. Hesse

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1,876243,623 (3.84)26
Member:seidchen
Title:BENEATH THE WHEEL.
Authors:Hermann. Hesse
Info:Farrar, Straus & Giroux (1968), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 187 pages
Collections:Your library, Own but unread
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Tags:Bildungsroman, novel, German, translation, education, 20th century

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Beneath the Wheel by Hermann Hesse (1906)

20th century (24) adolescence (10) Belletristik (12) childhood (8) classic (14) classics (18) education (18) fiction (257) German (67) German fiction (11) German literature (75) Germany (35) Hermann Hesse (12) Hesse (24) Jugend (6) literature (74) Nobel (10) Nobel Prize (18) novel (56) oppression (9) paperback (8) philosophy (9) read (27) Roman (20) school (16) stories (9) suicide (10) to-read (7) translation (12) unread (15)
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English (20)  French (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
In Beneath the Wheel, Hesse creates a portrait of a life brought to devastation by the negative effects of institutionalized learning. The apex of this devastation is beautifully rendered with the rich imagery anchored in nature and melancholy that is typical of his writing. Though a good novel, it falls short of Hesse's best work. Themes that merely incubate here are executed with far greater depth in Narcissus and Goldmund, as well as in The Glass Bead Game. Having read those works, this novel provided good context for Hesse's development as a storyteller. ( )
  poetontheone | Jan 10, 2013 |
It is worth reading this alongside Hesse's collection of short stories gathered under the title 'Autobiographical Writings'. Hesse's real academic career was quite a train-wreck, and his recollection of the very short conversation he had with his rather severe Grandfather about it is priceless. On another note, I'm not sure I've ever read such a powerful description of life becoming (slipping into) death; all the more effective for the obliquity and the unexpectedness of the moment. What's more, with just a very few words Hesse captures that strange fleeting period preceding the arrival of news of a death. When I worked with traffic police years ago they would talk about how in the middle of the night they'd find themselves carrying but not yet delivering the news of a death, and the sense that for a little while someone still slept in their beds undisturbed; their loved ones, children, partners or parents both still alive and dead at the same time. This isn't perhaps Hesse's major work, but there is a beautiful light touch to the writing, a sense of restrained power in this story simply told. Recommended. ( )
  nandadevi | Aug 22, 2012 |
I had not heard of this book by Hesse, and I stumbled on this by accident. It is quite a brilliant book. You go along with the short life of the young hero, from the point where he is selected to go to the university, his friendship, his falling out with the "establishment"; his nervous breakdown and eventual death. The writing is very low key, and there are parts that I can sympathise and identify with.
While the writing style is low key, I recognise the malaise that still afflicts us today, how the "system" can break you down unless you know how to play ir, or unless you rebel.
Rebellion, however, is not normally encouraged.. ( )
  RajivC | Jul 1, 2012 |
Hesse takes on parents' expectations and education without personal growth in this early novel of his. There is a little of Hesse's life in every one of his novels. Great as all of his works are. ( )
  BooksForDinner | Oct 3, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hermann Hesseprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coutinho, L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coutinho, M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, HerbCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roloff, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Herr Joseph Giebenrath, agent and dealer, had no special merits or peculiarities to distinguish him from his fellow citizens.
Herr Joseph Giebenrath, Zwischenhändler und Agent, zeichnete sich durch keinerlei Vorzüge oder Eigenheiten vor seinen Mitbürgern aus.
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The teachers apparently regarded a dead student very differently from a living one.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Constitutes an attack on educational systems that foster intellect, purposefulness, and ambition to the detriment of emotion, instinct, and soul.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031242230X, Paperback)

Hans Giebernath lives among the dull and respectable townsfolk of a sleepy Black Forest village. When he is discovered to be an exceptionally gifted student, the entire community presses him onto a path of serious scholarship. Hans dutifully follows the regimen of study and endless examinations, his success rewarded only with more crushing assignments. When Hans befriends a rebellious young poet, he begins to imagine other possibilities outside the narrowly circumscribed world of the academy. Finally sent home after a nervous breakdown, Hans is revived by nature and romance, and vows never to return to the gray conformity of the academic system.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:06 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Herman Hesse's spiritual biography, 'Beneath the Wheel,' is a touchstone in the Nobel Prize-winning author's lifelong examination of the conflict between self-affirmation and self-destruction. Based on his own experience, his second novel attacks an educational system that fosters intellect and ambition at the expense of emotion, soul and instinct. 'Beneath the Wheel' tells with compassion and tenderness a story that is true for our own age, with all the poetic and lyrical qualities that have made Hesse an outstanding literary figure of the twentieth century. It is the key to all his later works." *** "A gifted German boy hounded by years of pressure and guilt from his schoolmasters and pastor receives a long-overdue taste of freedom, loses interest in his studies, and finds his life spiraling out of control, faced with an 'average' future."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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