This was the right book at the wrong time for me. I can see myself loving it 10 years ago, when I was had a more gloomy and cynical outlook on life, I can hear myself saying, “This book really gets it”. (It don’t miss those days. 😂)
While I can still see the qualities; the complexity, the prose etc.., I just don’t connnect fully with the existential crisis of the middle aged misanthrope, Haller, around which the story revolves.
Part of me wanted to go up to him and shake some life into the man. “Wake up, go dance! Have a laugh for Christ sake!” And well.. thats just what the characters around him tried to do, whether it was Mozart and Goete (we are dealing with a mix of fictive and historical character in true Hesse fashion..) or Hellers object of desire, a girl named Hermine (his anima?!).
📝 “You are willing to die, you coward, but not to live”.
📝 “For what I always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood of mediocrity.” This reminds me of McCandless notion from ‘Into The Wild.
I love me some Hesse— Siddhartha and Damien being two of my favorite novels of all time—but I didn’t fully resonate with Steppenwolf. It’s a solid classic nevertheless!
We need to laugh more! Have you ever gauged how many times you laugh out loud each day?
Which is your favorite Hermann Hesse novels?
(ps… looking for my next classic. I’m looking for recommendations!)
Check out my Reading Lists for more great books!