A modernist work of profound wisdom that continues to enthral readers with its subtle blend of Eastern mysticism and Western culture, the "Penguin Modern Classics" edition of Hermann Hesse's "Steppenwolf" is revised by Walter Sorell from the original translation by Basil Creighton. At first sight Harry Haller seems a respectable, educated man. In ...
A modernist work of profound wisdom that continues to enthral readers with its subtle blend of Eastern mysticism and Western culture, the "Penguin Modern Classics" edition of Hermann Hesse's "Steppenwolf" is revised by Walter Sorell from the original translation by Basil Creighton. At first sight Harry Haller seems a respectable, educated man. In reality he is the Steppenwolf: wild, strange, alienated from society and repulsed by the modern age. But as he is drawn into a series of dreamlike and sometimes savage encounters - accompanied by, among others, Mozart, Goethe and the bewitching Hermione - the misanthropic Haller discovers a higher truth, and the possibility of happiness. This blistering portrayal of a man who feels himself to be half-human and half-wolf was the bible of the 1960s counterculture, capturing the mood of a disaffected generation, and remains a haunting story of estrangement and redemption. Herman Hesse (1877-1962) suffered from depression and weathered series of personal crises which led him to undergo psychoanalysis with J. B. Lang; a process which resulted in "Demian" (1919), a novel whose main character is torn between the orderliness of bourgeois existence and the turbulent and enticing world of sensual experience. This dichotomy is prominent in Hesse's subsequent novels, including "Siddhartha" (1922), "Steppenwolf" (1927), "Narcissus and Goldmund" (1930) and his magnum opus, "The Glass Bead Game" (1943). Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. If you enjoyed "Steppenwolf", you might like Hesse's "Siddhartha", also available in "Penguin Classics". "A savage indictment of bourgeois society...the gripping and fascinating story of disease in a man's soul". ("The New York Times").
Publishers Weekly, 2008-05-26 While it's good for a titter to picture Peter Weller in full RoboCop gear reading Hesse's classic novel of intellectual absorption with the primeval, it is not entirely necessary for full appreciation of his reading. Weller, who has a Midwestern folksy personability, reads Hesse less as a work of great literature than a philosophical manual, meant to be studied for personal improvement. Hesse can be forbidding, even for the teenage readers who often discover literature through him, so Weller wisely renders his novel familiar, comfortable and friendly. Currently wrapping up a Ph.D. at UCLA in Italian Renaissance art history, Weller has clearly been taking lessons in sounding professorial--entirely apropos here. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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