Author Topic: The Steppenwolf Notes  (Read 305 times)

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Kaspar Hauser

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The Steppenwolf Notes
« on: December 23, 2019, 06:38:05 am »
2012.06.22

THE STEPPENWOLF NOTES


I first read Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf (originally published in Berlin, Germany as Der Steppenwolf (The Steppenwolf) in 1927) when I was a young man – back in the late 80′s. This is kind of an autobiographical novel Hesse wrote when he was 50.

Now I am 45, so I want to experience the novel again, to better understand the workings of my own psyche (and to explore my own character development as a "personality" - whatever the hell that is).   I want to understand my outsider status better. I want to explore how I have come to live in this self-imposed exile from the status quo, how I have become such a Natural Rebel and Original Thinker, how I have come to hate mass-minded team-player drone culture so vehemently. And so I am taking some notes this time through, a project I can continue even were I set-up and railroaded into a cage by The Establishment or its Slave Patrol.
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1.     It seems to me that Hesse writes the Preface from the perspective of a law-abiding obedient middle-class drone. He is suspicious of Harry Haller’s (The Steppenwolf’s) fear of the police, suspicious/judgmental of the empty wine bottles around the rooms HH rents from his mother, the cigar ashes everywhere, the books scattered about – even on the floor, his coming home in the middle of the night drunk.

2.     And yet, he also has a genuine respect for HH:

"He gave at the very first glance the impression of a significant, an uncommon, and unusually gifted man. His face was intellectual, and the abnormally delicate and mobile play of his features reflected a soul of extremely emotional and unusually delicate sensibility."

3.      Where the two attended a lecture together, and the Steppenwolf (Harry Haller) threw him a quick look – an unforgettable and frightful look which spoke volumes!   a hopelessly sad look; "… the Steppenwolf’s look pierced our whole epoch, its whole overwrought activity, the whole surge and strife, the whole vanity, the whole superficial play of a shallow, opinionated intellectuality."

The look said: "See what monkeys we are! Look, such is man!"

All progress —> a monkey’s trick!

4.     This note reminds me of how, as a teenager, no, even as a child, I had committed myself to experiencing reality to the dregs, not to be distracted, not to be servile to idiotic norms, even when this meant facing down the herd, the family, the entire society, the masses: drones, robots, slaves, dupes, suckers, ass-kissers, all gorts who did not question the status quo and those who said, "This is just the way it is."

"I saw that Haller was a genius of suffering and that in the meaning of many sayings of Nietzsche he had created within himself a boundless and frightful capacity for pain."

By the age of 45, I have now at least come to understand what it is about my personality that disturbs some people: it is the sheer force of my intellect, the fact that I have done more serious thinking than most.

------------------------
2019.12.23

Most likely due to living difficulties, I was not able to type up the remaining notes.
They can be found in H-155 (2012) : Brainstorms 2 {
           p29-31:  The Steppenwolf Notes (1-4);
           p33-37: The Steppenwolf Notes (5-9);
           p47: The Steppenwolf Notes (10);
           p49-51: The Steppenwolf Notes (11-13);
           p54: The Steppenwolf Notes (14-15);
}

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FOR MADMEN ONLY:

see Cliffs notes if you want "in your face" statements about Harry Hallar being a "suicidal man."   
« Last Edit: December 23, 2019, 07:18:26 am by Kaspar Heinrich »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

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Kaspar Hauser

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Re: The Steppenwolf Notes
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2020, 10:44:55 am »
While searching for ideas for a "site slogan" - was "Not for Mr & Mrs Everybody" - I stumbled upon a kind of "comic book" which I suspect Holden and Raul would appreciate.  Currently I am going with "Only the truthful are able to receive the truth."  (from poem, The Hyperborian Winter)

You must know by now that I am a complicated bundle of nerves who is difficult to pigeonhole into any kind of label.  As my nephew said about himself recently, "I am what I am."

Let me know what you think of OZ 16 (The Magic Theatre).  You can inspect it without downloading it here.

direct download:  OZ 16 - The Magic Theatre


Description

The Magic Theatre refers to Hermann Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf, “Entrance not for everybody. Price of admittance, your mind and 3 shillings”. Robert Hughes, author of The Shock of the New, said of this issue, “Sharp has assembled one of the richest banks of images that has ever appeared in a magazine”. The next issue of Oz described OZ 16 thus: “Sharp and Von Mora invite you to the Magic Theatre. Mixed media non copy. The worst selling most praised Oz ever”.

Publisher : OZ Publications Ink Limited, London, 46p

Comments:  Please be advised: This collection has been made available due to its historical and research importance. It contains explicit language and images that reflect attitudes of the era in which the material was originally published, and that some viewers may find confronting.

Rights:  Reproduced by permission of Richard Neville. This material is made available for the purposes of research and study. Commercial use is prohibited.

Recommended Citation:  Neville, Richard and Sharp, Martin, (1968), OZ 16 - The Magic Theatre, OZ Publications Ink Limited, London, 46p.

https://ro.uow.edu.au/ozlondon/16

« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 06:07:34 pm by Der Steppenwolf »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

Holden

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Re: The Steppenwolf Notes
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2021, 03:42:33 am »
By the age of 45, I have now at least come to understand what it is about my personality that disturbs some people: it is the sheer force of my intellect, the fact that I have done more serious thinking than most.-Herr Hauser

That is so true. I have felt that while corresponding with you. I have felt the force ,the intense force,though I am about 7850 miles way.
La Tristesse Durera Toujours                                  (The Sadness Lasts Forever ...)
-van Gogh.

Kaspar Hauser

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Re: The Steppenwolf Notes
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2021, 05:25:48 am »
Thanks for your generous observations, Holden.   I had written that in 2012, at age 45, yes.  I wish you to know that by "force of my intellect," this has nothing to do with mathematical maturity.   Mathematics as a whole, as a discipline, is far too vast, like a boulder which I may have tried to hoist only to have it roll back and crush me.

I think what I was expressing is similar to what Nietzsche meant when describing himself as a bear in a cave.   Every passerby would "feel" or sense the depth of thought and feeling ...

Quote
"He gave at the very first glance the impression of a significant, an uncommon, and unusually gifted man. His face was intellectual, and the abnormally delicate and mobile play of his features reflected a soul of extremely emotional and unusually delicate sensibility."

This is how Hesse has the landlady's son perceiving Harry Haller.  Do you suppose this is how Hermann Hesse sees himself?   Schopenhauer would approve since he (Arthur, that is) had contempt for false modesty.

Quote
Where the two attended a lecture together, and the Steppenwolf (Harry Haller) threw him a quick look – an unforgettable and frightful look which spoke volumes!   a hopelessly sad look; "… the Steppenwolf’s look pierced our whole epoch, its whole overwrought activity, the whole surge and strife, the whole vanity, the whole superficial play of a shallow, opinionated intellectuality."

The look said: "See what monkeys we are! Look, such is man!"

I have long since given up the practice of recording daily thoughts and events.  It's all just too much, and I do not have the emotional strength to transform the drama of my inner life into any kind of "book" ---- There are too many books in the world as it is.   ;)
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~