Steppenwolf (1927) by Herman Hesse
know those books that, even years after you've read them, you mostly
forget what they're about but you remember how they made you feel? Yeah,
that's my experience with Steppenwolf.
remember reading this (my second) Hesse novel as a teenager, depressed
that college and independence were still so far away (another year of
high school!) and looking to books for solace. Having read Siddhartha a couple of times, I knew that Hesse would make me forget about the world and revel in language- thus, Steppenwolf.
Hesse plays around with the reader's expectations and imagination,
offering a story-within-a-story and creating worlds-within-worlds. The
protagonist is caught between the reality that he despises and the
fantastical world that he fears, and the people he meets along the way
guide him through a complicated labyrinth determined by these two poles.
The title refers to the duality of human nature, which strives to
become more "civilized" while remaining chained to its animal instincts.
I want to reread Steppenwolf, and check out Hesse's many other novels, so if I add all of that to my TBR list, I'll now need to live for 900 years.