>>7687104 I've honestly only ever heard of Siddhartha and Steppenwolf, haven't heard of his other stuff.
Siddhartha is quite good. I didn't come into it looking for anything philosophical and was very pleased by it. I think most people go in expecting some kind of enlightenment from reading it when it really has a very straightforward message.
I randomly found his novel called Rosshalde. Not knowing what to expect, I got a story that wasn't surprising in its theme, (minimal) plot and character. However, I enjoyed it far more than expected. He really suceeds in making you care about the characters, and even if you see what's coming from a mile away, it's still very hard to see it happen. It's a poignant and well written story. The only thing I didn't like was how the kid spoke, he sounded artificial, unlike anything a kid ever said. Siddhartha is one of my favourite books, I didn't enjoy Steppenwolf that much. Rosshalde cemented Hesse in place of one of my favorite writers.
>>7687124 narcissus and goldmund is a halfway point between steppenwolf and glassbead game, so you can alterenatively go
steppenwolf -> narcissus and goldmund -> glass bead game and simultaneously siddhartha -> journey -> glass bead game cause there's a similar dynamic.
then read his short story collection (pictor's metapmorphosis) if you really care. it covers stuff from early to late in his career and you can trace his development in a third way
regardless glass bead game is the culimination of almost everything else he did.
demian is a weirder standalone, and has traces of what's to come in the steppenwolf/narcisuss line as well as the journey to the east line. it's more of a direct reaction to WW1 and predated his other stuff.
>>7687130 idk. cause plebs? it's "difficult" if you just dive straight into it whereas siddhartha and steppenwolf are "simple", though most people misread those two books, especially steppenwolf, which is something hesse himself lamented
I really liked siddhartha (esp. at the time in my life that i first read it), demian was good too, a few great scenes.
I dont think I really understood steppwnwolf. Harry seemed like the underground man, but before going full cynical hermit he has a weird freudian psychelic adventure that I dont recall resolving coherently.
>>7687088 >people haven't heard of Demian Are you for real? I thought it was his third well known book after Siddhartha and Narcissus und Goldmund. For fuck's sake every German soldier read it after WW1 and they identified with the book.
>>7687611 "its time" was also almost a century ago. many famous books from 100 years ago are barely known today.
i am definitely speaking from burgerland perspective though so maybe narcisusus is more famous wherever you are. as someone mentioned above, steppenwolf was championed by the hippie/counterculture/freelove/etc. movement pretty heavily here in USAUSAUSA so maybe that plays into it.
>>7687088 Steppenwolf is one of my favorite novels. The protagonist's detachment, fascination with the bourgeois lifestyle, and love for Mozart are all qualities I could not but see in myself and so I imagined it an account of a future version of myself as I read it. Also, Mozart's advice at the end is the best paragraph I've read in a book.
siddhartha is only famous because a bunch of dumbass hippies in the 60s and 70s resonated with all the eastern spirituality bullshit since that was a fad at the time. it's a good book, but it's not that good.
>>7687627 I'm Italian but as I said I'm a pleb, so maybe I'm wrong about Steppenwolf. You don't seem to understand, Demian was not just famous, Demian was THE fucking book when it came out.
I must say that I love how the name Goldmund sounds, both in original and in my own language, Boccadoro, even if I prefer the Italian one as it seems like a name from a fairy tale. I think they both carry a soft, mellow sound and imagery. If it wasn't gay as fuck I'd name my non-existent future son that.
I didn't like Steppenwolf. I thought it was a lot of rambling without any literary merit, but I was considerable biased towards this book since my expectations were considerable high - I found out about this book reading a thread named "Never read this book" by a guy telling us how he was never the same after reading Steppenwolf, and several people agree with him on how their acquaintances that read Steppenwolf changed a lot after reading it. I think this gave the book an almost supernatural aura, and I was hugely disappointed when I read it, even considering I identified myself with the main character up to a certain point.
Several years laters I picked up Siddharta without any expectation, and I was truly impressed, enough to go and read Demian straight away and go on with Beneath the Wheel and the rest of his books.
I still don't quite get the considerable hype of Steppenwolf.
Ive only read Siddartha, and loved it. Is Hesse inspired by Nietzsche at all? Siddhartha seemed to have strong Nietzschean themes in it, specifically the concept of eternal recurrence of the same. Parts about the river were almost identicle to "Of the Vision and the Riddle" in Zarathustra.
Hesse is definitely one of my bros and it's nice to see a thread for him that's not just Siddhartha/Steppenwolf.
Glass Bead Game is arguably his best work and I agree with other anons that call it a culmination of his other works. I especially adore the 3 lives end-pieces that the protagonist wrote. However, and I'm sure someone here can tell me why it's not a terrible ending, or the deep meaning it had, but personally I thought the ending of the Glass Bead Game was crap. Like, absolute, retched, waste of so many pages before it crap. Blargh.
Narcissus and Goldmund is a great story and I wouldn't have any qualms calling it better than GBG. The characters are interesting, I really enjoyed watching...who was it, Goldmund that became the artist? Yeah, Hesse told a good story about a kid that wanted to become a priest but who got sent into the world to be an artist. Obviously Hesse didn't get Christianity but bless his heart. Goldmund found himself amidst all that sex and plague.
Now none of you mentioned my favorite work by Hesse though and it's really a novel more of you would like and that's Gertrude. Awesome story about a dude who gets semi-crippled but composes music, falls in love with a singer who falls in love with his melancholy best friend, and they fall deeply into a (bad) romance. Sad story for everyone, a lot of heart. It's good, read it faggots.
>>7687088 There's probably a lot of stuff in his books that flies over my head, but just reading them is really enjoyable. The one I liked the most is Narcissus and Goldmund, but I haven't read Gertrude and Journey to the East yet.
I honestly wasn't too hot on Glass Bead Game when I read it, except for the very last part of the book with the different lives. But it was a long time ago and I might just need to give it a re-read.
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