March 16, 2017 Novel

Steppenwolf is one of the most important novels of the XX century, first it was published in 1927. This is both a philosophical parable and, at the same time, a deep study of the psychology of a man who is trying in vain to find his own personality, constantly balancing between the animal and human beginnings. This is a love story that leads to an unexpected tragic ending, it is also a political, social novel in which the hero acts as a fierce critic of the existing philistinism. You dive into this book, it fascinates you with its special rhythm, with its unique atmosphere of half-reality, half-madness, jazz rhythms, carnival masks, literary allusions and amazing discoveries that makes the main character during his path.

The main hero just runs through life, lonely, extraordinary, he does not understand the others, runs and tries to understand – but why does he run? The crisis of the protagonist grows as the book progresses, from the usual depression to the thoughts of suicide, to the subsequent complete analysis of his past and the change of the present. I have never read anything like this. This book is a real psychoanalysis of the hero, at first it may seem that there will be no action, there will be uninteresting plot, only a range of thoughts and feelings of the protagonist. But no, the book has a very interesting plot, it is difficult not to keep reading and you wonder what will happen next. At some point you ask yourself – what’s going on? Is the main hero crazy? Is it his fantasy? And can it all be real? I guess, the first. This is one of those books that is very difficult to describe. They need to be felt. It is really unusual and worth reading work. There are many interesting quotes, an interesting comparison of reality and fantasy.

The book is magnificent. Steppenwolf is an never-ending search for one’s personality, lost in society with its conditions and rules, where everyone has the right to choose whether to play by the rules or not. Should he live in harmony with others while neglecting his qualities and interests, or do not care about the society, becoming a happy and voluntary outsider. Steppenwolf was relevant at the time when it was written, is relevant now and will be relevant many years later – as long as there are people in the world who deny their own ordinariness, but at the same time who want to enjoy life. I will read this book with pleasure once more time – it’s so interesting to look at Harry Haller at different moments of his acquaintance with his personality.

About the author

Bernhard Kunkle: