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Steppenwolf

Ren
Posts: 7,102
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8/20/2012 8:56:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
So, I tried the arts section, but that place is really slow.

C'mon, people. Hermann Hesse? Steppenwolf? I know at least a few others have read this book.

I almost figured I was the only one left on this site that hasn't read a book like this.

I mean... it's amazing. Poetic, profound, and timeless.

Timeless. This is what real genius in literature is all about.

I want to share with you guys some parts that I particularly enjoyed, and which also seem markedly relevant to so many dialectics we casually share on these here forums on a daily basis. We can just discuss that, if no one has read the actual book. That will be in the proceeding posts.

But, let me just say, it was very unique -- it was written in a rather poetic-style prose, and it had no chapters. Just one, long, almost 300-page discourse on getting old and coming to terms with who you are and the world. And, confronting suicide. It's very intense. So, without further ado...
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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8/20/2012 9:04:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Goethe's Mischief

Then I remembered the scorpion, or Molly, rather, and I called out to Goethe: "Tell me, is Molly there?"

Goethe laughed aloud. He went to his table and opened a drawer; took out a handsome leather or velvet box, and helt it open under my eyes. There, small, faultless, and gleaming, lay a diminutive effigy of a woman's leg on the dark velvet, an enchanting leg, with the knee a little bent and the foot pointing downwards to end in the daintiest of toes.

I stretched out my hand, for I had quite fallen in love with the little leg and I wanted to have it, but just as I was going to take hold of it with my finger and thumb, the little toy seemed to move with a tiny start and it occurred to me suddenly that this might be the scorpion. Goethe seemed to read my thought, and even to have wanted to cause this deep timidity, this hectic struggle between desire and dread. He held the provoking little scorpion close to my face and watched me start forward with desire, then start back with dread; and this seemed to divert him exceedingly. While he was teasing me with the charming, dangerous thing, he became quite old once more, very very old, a thousand years old, with hair as white as snow, and his withered graybeard's face laughed a still and soundless laughter that shook him to the depths with abysmal old-man's humor.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/20/2012 9:07:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I hate literature
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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8/20/2012 9:10:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Hermine's Wisdom

Meanwhile, I asked her: "How did you manage to look like a boy and make me guess your name?"

"Oh, you did that all yourself. Doesn't your learning reveal to you that the reason why I please you and mean so much to you is because I am a kind of looking glass for you, because there is something in me that answers you and understands you? Really, we ought all to be such looking glasses to each other and answer and correspond to each other, but such owls as you are a bit peculiar. On the slightest provocation they give themselves over to the strangest notions that they can see nothing and read nothing any longer in the eyes of other men and then nothing seems right to them. And then when an owl like that after all finds a face that looks back into his and gives him a glimpse of understanding -- well, then he's pleased, naturally."

"There's nothing you don't know, Hermine," I cried in amazement. "It's exactly as you say. And yet you're so entirely different from me. Why, you're my opposite. You have all that I lack."

"So you would think," she said shortly, "and it's well you should."
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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8/20/2012 9:18:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/20/2012 9:07:13 PM, 000ike wrote:
I hate literature

What a glorious, wonderful smile of happenstance and grace of fortuity that you, of all people, would grace this thread. ^_^ In fact, I have one special for you. Let me find it...

Pablo's Defense of Radios

(as Mozart plays from a radio in the background)

Exactly, my dear sir, as the radio for ten minutes together projects the most lovely music without regard into the most impossible places, into respectable drawing rooms and attics and into the midst of chattering guzzling, yawning and sleeping listeners, and exactly as it strips this music of its sensuous beauty, spoils and scratches and beslimes it and yet cannot altogether destroy its spirit, just so does life, the so-called reality, deal with the sublime picture-play of the world and make a hurley-burley of it. It makes its unappetizing tone--slime of the most magic orchestral music. Everywhere it obstrudes its mechanism, its activity, its dreary exigencies and vanity between the ideal and the real, between orchestra and ear. All life is so, my child, and we must let it be so; and if we are not assses, laugh at it. It little becomes people like you to be critics of radio or of life either. Better learn to listen first! Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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8/21/2012 11:03:25 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/20/2012 9:29:23 PM, Koopin wrote:
I like his work. I haven't read Steppenwolf yet, but I know I've been through two of his other novels.

It's so amazing... I can't believe people here aren't into him.
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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8/21/2012 11:11:27 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/20/2012 9:04:37 PM, Ren wrote:
Goethe's Mischief

Then I remembered the scorpion, or Molly, rather, and I called out to Goethe: "Tell me, is Molly there?"

Goethe laughed aloud. He went to his table and opened a drawer; took out a handsome leather or velvet box, and helt it open under my eyes. There, small, faultless, and gleaming, lay a diminutive effigy of a woman's leg on the dark velvet, an enchanting leg, with the knee a little bent and the foot pointing downwards to end in the daintiest of toes.

I stretched out my hand, for I had quite fallen in love with the little leg and I wanted to have it, but just as I was going to take hold of it with my finger and thumb, the little toy seemed to move with a tiny start and it occurred to me suddenly that this might be the scorpion. Goethe seemed to read my thought, and even to have wanted to cause this deep timidity, this hectic struggle between desire and dread. He held the provoking little scorpion close to my face and watched me start forward with desire, then start back with dread; and this seemed to divert him exceedingly. While he was teasing me with the charming, dangerous thing, he became quite old once more, very very old, a thousand years old, with hair as white as snow, and his withered graybeard's face laughed a still and soundless laughter that shook him to the depths with abysmal old-man's humor.

There is something about this that makes me think I've read something profound. You know, like when you are standing in front of an inscrutable art piece, and you stand in front of it, trying to make sense of it? And then walk away from it after a few minutes, and even though you didn't understand it, the thought threads that originate from the painting go round your mind for hours?

Like that. There's something poetic about it. I'll probably check him out.

Thanks.