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Old 08-15-2003, 02:55 AM   #1
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Hermann Hesse

can someone explain? i knew a couple people who hailed hesse as god, but i never really stuck around for their reasons...i could ask my mom why she has more than a few books by him, but knowing my mom, that will be a long stor...

i've read demian and sidhartha, but i can't say that i'm really inspired to read some of the other books on the shelf.


there's something missing. i can't figure out what, i just don't GET it.
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Old 08-15-2003, 03:22 AM   #2
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i think we read the prodigy my junior year...what was it about again?



i remember reading SOMEthing by him and loving it.


what do you mean you don't "get" it?
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Old 08-15-2003, 09:54 AM   #3
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I read Steppenwolf by him in high school. I don't remember much of it now, but I do remember enjoying it.
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Old 08-15-2003, 02:01 PM   #4
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i just mean that i don't understand somehting, i'm not sure...while i was reading demian i couldn't help but feel like there was something being said that i was missing. like i'm particualry dense or something...cos i wasn't reading more than just a story about this guy...
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Old 08-15-2003, 02:13 PM   #5
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his stories do tend to be parables.


what may help you is to look at the year it was written in. look at international relations or what's going on in the us, uk, or germany.


i remember with my paper on the prodigy i had a lot of historical references (cos i'm a history nerd) but it did explain the book in a different, more clear way.
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Old 08-15-2003, 03:16 PM   #6
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thank you.
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Old 08-17-2003, 05:20 PM   #7
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what year was that written in anyway
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Old 08-17-2003, 08:22 PM   #8
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not sure, i'd have to check
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Old 08-18-2003, 02:35 AM   #9
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ok well i got curious and so i kinda looked into it...(nerd alert)


i looked, it says it was printed first in 1919. i'm assuming he did all his publishing and all in germany.

i haven't read it, but from a couple of summaries and excerpts i read there's an obvious struggle of good and bad (light and dark imagery). hesse is pretty heavy on the religious symbolism, emil's house being an old monastery, and his being involved with eva's garden. both are seen more as "light" things (light, in emil's mind, being equated with good things) because of their affiliation with religion.

it's set in pre-wwi times, which i'm not *too* familiar with...but i do know there was a strong religion-based right/wrong value system that was closely tied with social folkways and mores. hesse had a post wwi-viewpoint, so it may have been a bit skewed toward condemning that school of thought.

the light/dark symbolism stems from plato's parable "the cave" if you haven't read it, and if you have time some day, you should read it. a lot of classic literature (and the song "staring at the sun") points back to it.

i think one of hesse's themes in demian is self-righteousness, but that's just kinda the feeling i got.

does any of that help clarify it?


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Old 08-18-2003, 09:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly


i think one of hesse's themes in demian is self-righteousness, but that's just kinda the feeling i got.

all right, yeah that would make sense.

and that helps me out quite a bit.

nerd alert? seeing as i was just reading this stuff for fun, i don't think i'm any less of a nerd. just a dumb one

i had read that hesse had been expected to go into the priesthood or something by his family, but didn't...he ran away or something.

haven't read any plato.

and curse me for just taking science and math classes last year.
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