The Plot

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Steppenwolf, the story of a man’s psychic journey, moves progressively inward and then, by extension, outward to apply to all of thinking, disillusioned, post-World War I humankind. The locus of the story is in the third section, in which protagonist Harry Haller meets Hermine (a café house prostitute) and Pablo (one of her lovers) and experiences the metamorphosing effects of the latter’s “Magic Theatre.”

The storyline of Steppenwolf appears to be relatively straightforward. An unidentified narrator begins the tale by stating in a “preface” that he is in possession of Haller’s papers, which were left behind when Haller departed a room he had rented from the narrator’s aunt. In the preface, the “bourgeois” voice of the nephew is contrasted with his depiction of the mysterious, intellectual, and inordinately morose Steppenwolf, a term Haller applies to himself. This initial narrator justifies his disclosure of Haller’s personal papers with the explanation that they are not merely the document of one man’s experiences but are “a document of the times” because “Haller’s sickness of the soul” is indeed “the sickness of the times themselves, the neurosis of that generation to which Haller belongs.”

The second narrator, Haller himself (via his papers), takes the reader through a series of increasingly bizarre and unexplainable events—events that tend to blur the line between reality and fantasy. In this section, Haller stumbles upon the “Treatise on the Steppenwolf”—a pamphlet handed to him as he walks down a dark, rainy street during one of his depressed wanderings. In it, Haller’s problem is discussed and elucidated. Haller, it seems, is victim of several misperceptions: He views his self as an imprisoned duality. One half is a savage, primitive “wolf of the Steppes,” and the other half is a detached, disillusioned, world-weary thinker. His torturous ennui has led Haller to announce that he plans to commit suicide at the age of fifty if the pain and disappointment of life remain unbearable. A second misperception identified by the mysterious treatise is an attitudinal one: Harry has failed to make a commitment to life, instead choosing suicide as his release. Finally, the treatise announces that Harry can find a way out of his dilemma through humor and acceptance of the world, and through a final understanding that “man is an onion made up of a hundred integuments, a texture made up of many threads.”

The rest of the novel is concerned with Haller’s experiential discovery of the reality of the issues raised by this treatise, but the means of this discovery take on numerous fantastic, grotesque, and striking permutations. In the final section, Haller explores his self (or, rather, the universe of his many selves) through episodes in the Magic Theatre. It is in this section that scientific fantasy suddenly intrudes, projecting elements of the fantastic, surrealistic dream world into Haller’s everyday reality. Also in this section, Haller makes contact with several beings known as “The Immortals,” which include incarnations of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who both chastise and assist Haller on his journey of inner discovery.

Steppenwolf

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The Work

Hermann Hesse, a German neoromantic novelist, wrote Der Steppenwolf in 1927 when he was fifty years old. In the book, Hesse's only novel set in a city during the late 1920s, a young businessman discovers the diaries of a middle-class intellectual named Harry Haller in the apartment of his aunt, Harry's landlady. Harry, who refers to himself as a Steppenwolf; or a wolf of the steppes, is in effect, a wanderer in search of himself. Harry's surrealistic...

(This entire section contains 759 words.)

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records reveal a depressed fiftyish man on the verge of suicide. He is rescued by the music of a nearby dance hall where he encounters a peddlar with a placard that advertises the attractions of a Magic Theater; Not for Everybody. In the first portion of the novel, a Treatise on the Steppenwolf, Harry reveals himself as half man (his civilized bourgeois qualities) and half wolf (his instinctual urges in search of expression). He is guided in his quest by the classical immortals Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and also his new friends; bar girl Hermine, prostitute Maria, and jazz musician Pablo. With Hermine as his alter-ego, Harry learns to enjoy life again, with Maria, he discovers the joys of sex, and with Pablo, he explores jazz and mind-expanding drugs. The second part of the novel deals with Harry's experiences in the Magic Theater, where he is immersed in dreams and wish fulfillment. He makes war on automobiles, makes love to all the women he ever desired, and commits murder. Finally, he discovers his multiple selves and is tried and condemned to enjoy life and not take himself so seriously by the laughing immortals he had mistaken for pompous intellectuals like his former self. His idol Mozart reveals himself at the end as a lover, a rebel, and a romantic; a precursor of a counterculture Hesse had discovered in the 1920s. Harry had achieved a new, life-giving vision.

Impact

To some extent, Harry represented Hesse's struggles. Hermine could stand for (in the framework of Hesse's psychologist Karl Jung) his anima, or female counterpart. The novel is set in a European city during the jazz age of the 1920s, a period of wonderful nonsense, dancing, and sex that foreshadowed the 1960s. Although Steppenwolf is about the crisis of a man turning fifty, it celebrates a return to vibrant youth. Harry learns to be young again and discovers spontaneity, romantic love, and his instincts. The story is a reworking of Goethe's Faust, also a middle-aged man quest for happiness. The result is Harry's self-discovery and the unification of his two selves. Other themes are a critique of materialistic industrialism, bourgeois hypocrisy, war, and nationalism; all characteristics of the counterculture of the 1960s. Because of all these currents, Steppenwolf, neglected in Germany, was rediscovered in the United States during the 1960s. The novel's mix of the real and the surreal, along with all of its other features, made it appealing to those interested in the counterculture. In 1974, the novel was made into a film starring the distinguished Swedish actor Max von Sydow.

Bibliography:

Boulby, Mark. “The Steppenwolf.” In Hermann Hesse: His Mind and Art. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1967. Compares the structure and motifs of Steppenwolf with those of Hesse’s other novels. Discusses how depersonalization becomes an essential element in the solution of Harry Haller’s dilemma.

Casebeer, Edwin F. “Steppenwolf: Siddhartha Today.” In Hermann Hesse. New York: Warner Paperback Library, 1972. A Jungian interpretation of Steppenwolf. Sees Hermine as the anima and Pablo/Mozart as the Self of Harry Haller, especially in the Magic Theater dream world that the Self creates to discover its real nature.

Field, George Wallis. “Der Steppenwolf: Crisis and Recovery.” In Hermann Hesse. Boston: Twayne, 1970. Traces the autobiographical element and the development of the humor theme from Hesse’s earlier works into Steppenwolf. Discusses the themes of sexuality, cultural criticism, music, and the transcendence of reality.

Freedman, Ralph. “Person and Persona: The Magic Mirrors of Steppenwolf.” In Hesse: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Theodore Ziolkowski. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1973. Posits that Hesse created protagonists as images and distortions of himself to reflect the interplay between self-in-life (person) and self-in-art (persona). Discusses how Jungian psychoanalysis fashioned many of the artistic strategies in Steppenwolf.

Ziolkowski, Theodore. “The Steppenwolf: A Sonata in Prose.” In The Novels of Hermann Hesse: A Study in Theme and Structure. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1965. Focuses on the technical problems of the novel’s structure and explains how Hesse used musical sonata form to shape Steppenwolf.

Places Discussed

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Magic Theater

Magic Theater. Literally, the hell of Steppenwolf’s mind and soul. Although the trip to the Magic Theater does not occur until the end of the novel, it is there that Hesse puts forth his ideas about the fractured soul of modern man manifesting the existential and the suicidal, here represented and embodied by Harry Haller. Hermine, Haller’s lover—a prostitute who herself has a death wish—teaches him to dance and takes him to a great ball. When he descends to the basement for a drug-induced experience brought on by laudanum, opium, and cocaine, Hell reveals itself to be a place where one can get anything one wants. Seeing himself repeatedly in a magic mirror that displays his many schizophrenic personalities and selves, Haller can fulfill any want he can imagine, whether real or illusionary. His Magic Theater contains one hundred doors, each of which has a name designed to seduce and satiate, such as “All Girls Are Yours.”

Rented rooms

Rented rooms. Residence of the Steppenwolf from the beginning of the novel until his suicide at the end. For reasons never explained, Haller arrives in the unnamed town and takes up residence in a private home, in which he meets the initial narrator of the story, a young man who is the nephew of the owner of the house. Haller is attracted to the home because it is, as he repeatedly describes it, “bourgeois.” He likes its middle-class cleanliness, the smells from the kitchen, and the lifestyle of the family who own and run the home, as well as the other lodgers.

Haller’s rented rooms themselves assume the qualities of this man who fancies himself a wolf from the steppes; they become primarily a study in which he has art works as well as books, and he lives here in a kind of hearth and home environs protected from the howling landscape of modern man outside his windows. Basically, these rented rooms, like the nameless, unidentified small town in which Haller is living, are intentionally nondescript so that they can have universal applicability.

Black Eagle

Black Eagle. Most important of three public bars that Haller frequents, a place with food, drink, and other accommodations. It is located in the basement of the business establishment where he experiences the Magic Theater. While apparently decent on its exterior, the Black Eagle is at its core emblematic of the decadence that pervaded Germany in the period between the two world wars in which the novel is set. Its music is that of American jazz—which in the context of the novel symbolizes wanton abandonment. Drugs are in endless supply, and casual sex is rampant, easy, and multidimensional. Though tame by standards to occur later in the twentieth century, the Black Eagle is intended to be something of a moral pigsty of its day.

Historical Context

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The Weimar Republic

In an attempt to create a parliamentary democracy in 1919 following World War I, German social democrats established the Weimar Republic in Germany. However, the Weimar Republic was beset by difficulties from the beginning. These included German resentment of the Versailles Treaty that followed World War I, which imposed punitive conditions on Germany in an attempt to ensure it would not threaten the victorious European powers again. Economic problems of Weimer included runaway inflation in the early 1920s and high unemployment during the worldwide depression in the early 1930s. Economic distress and social unrest combined to undermine the fledgling republic, which ended in 1933 with the establishment of the Third Reich by Adolf Hitler's National Socialist Party.

Significant issues in the literature of the Weimar Republic were the role of technology in society, nationalism, communism, and the cultural influence of the United States, among other countries. These were discussed by such figures as Thomas Mann (1875–1955), the greatest writer and intellectual of the Weimer Republic, who warned, along with others, against the dangers of fascism and authoritarianism. In Steppenwolf, Hesse made contributions to several of these issues. (Although during this period, Hesse lived in Switzerland, not Germany, he remained a German writer read by Germans.) Hesse's dislike of mechanization and technology can be seen in the surrealistic war on the automobiles and in Haller's negative comments about the radio and the gramophone. Equally prominent is Hesse's hatred of the kind of anti-democratic nationalism advocated by conservative forces in Weimar, as can be seen in the episode of Haller's dinner with the professor. Hesse's dislike of the cultural influence of the United States can be seen in Haller's contempt for jazz and American popular songs. In general, however, Hesse's novels during the period of the Weimar Republic were not political in tone. Damien (1919), Siddhartha (1922) and Steppenwolf (1927) are concerned mostly with the development of an enlightened personal vision; their interest is in psychology, spirituality, and the individual rather than society.

Psychological Theories of Freud and Jung

In the 1920s, the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) were well known and widely accepted as groundbreaking contributions to human knowledge. In his studies of neurotic patients, Freud subjected the unconscious mind to rigorous investigation and showed how it influenced behavior. He believed that when people go through experiences that are too painful or threatening, they repress the memories of such experiences in the unconscious, where the memories become inaccessible to the conscious mind. Much of Freud's work dealt with repressed sexuality and aggression. He believed that dreams are the gateway to the unconscious mind and that by analyzing dreams the subconscious thoughts that affected behavior could be brought to the surface and the neurosis cured. One of Freud's most important works was The Interpretation of Dreams (1900).

Hesse was a great admirer of Freud's work, and one of the key episodes in Steppenwolf is Haller's dream in which he meets Goethe. Before Goethe appears, Haller notices a scorpion climbing up his leg. He is aware that a scorpion can be "dangerously and beautifully emblematic of woman and sin." The image returns at the end of the dream, when Goethe presents Haller with a tiny effigy of a woman's leg. Haller falls in love with it, but when he reaches out to touch it, he fears it may be the scorpion, and he refers to his "hectic struggle between desire and dread." This incident suggests that sexual repression may play a part in fueling Haller's neurotic personality. The fact that Haller becomes much happier when he indulges in a sexual relationship with Maria seems to confirm this interpretation.

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) was originally one of Freud's collaborators, but he broke with Freud in 1913 and developed his own system, which he called analytical psychology. Jung developed concepts such as archetypes, which he defined as recurring symbolic patterns in the mind, found in dreams as well as the mythologies of the world. Jung believed in the existence of a collective unconscious, not merely an individual one, in which these images were stored.

Hesse underwent Jungian psychoanalysis a decade before writing Steppenwolf. He later met and corresponded with Jung. Scholars usually identify Hesse's novel Damien as the one that shows the greatest influence of Jung, but there are elements of Jungian theory in Steppenwolf, too. One of the terms Jung used is the "shadow," the socially unacceptable aspects of the personality that are rejected by the conscious mind and pushed into the unconscious. This is close to what Hesse identifies in Haller as the wolf element within him. Jung also identified what he called the anima, the feminine element within a man, and this corresponds to the character Hermine in the novel.

Literary Style

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Realism and Surrealism

The novel is told on two levels, the realistic and the surreal. The bourgeois narrator's preface and the first part of "Harry Haller's Records" gives the reader a realistic picture of Haller's life. But when Haller is given the book, "Treatise on the Steppenwolf," a surreal element enters the novel, since from a realistic point of view, it is impossible for Haller suddenly to acquire a book written in this expository style which analyzes his own personality. Haller's dream of Goethe and his encounter with Mozart are other surreal events, as is the entire episode of the magic theater.

In Haller's encounter with Hermine, the realistic and the surreal levels are intertwined (although symbolic rather than surreal might be a better term in this context). At one level, Hermine is a shrewd courtesan who knows how to handle a new client; at another level, she is an incarnation of an aspect of Haller's own mind: she understands him perfectly, knows everything about him, and can read his thoughts, and he believes he can never have a secret from her.

Music Imagery

Music is a recurring motif, and different types of music illustrate the dichotomy between the ideal realm of the immortals and the bourgeois world; between spirit and flesh. In Haller's view, the music of composers such as Handel, Bach, and Mozart can express the divine and the eternal. By contrast, popular music, especially jazz, represents for Haller only cultural degeneration. In spite of this view, however, he acknowledges that jazz, even though he detests it, has "a secret charm" for him; its "raw and savage gaiety reached an underworld of instinct and breathed a simple honest sensuality." He also appreciates the happiness such music can convey. After he meets Maria, he comes to acknowledge that for those who enjoy the popular music of the day, it may provide them with an aesthetic experience that is just as valid and as profound as that provided by Mozart or other composers. This possibility suggests the bridging of the gap between spirit (represented by classical music) and flesh (jazz) that is part of the overall theme of the novel.

Mirror Imagery

The image of the mirror is used repeatedly to illustrate the point that the Steppenwolf must look at and examine himself unflinchingly in order to understand all aspects of his own nature. The mirror image occurs in the "Treatise on the Steppenwolf," for example, which states that Haller is well aware of the existence of such a mirror, as well as his need to look into it and his own terrible fear of doing so. The image of the mirror is used in connection with Hermine to convey the idea that she is an aspect of Haller's own self. When he looks into her face, it appears as "a magic mirror" to him. Near the end of the novel, Pablo shows Haller two mirrors, one in which Haller sees his accustomed wolf/man nature and which Pablo throws away before showing Haller another large mirror on the wall. In that mirror, Haller finally sees himself in a multitude of different guises. The mirror reveals to him the almost infinite facets and possibilities of his own self.

Literary Techniques

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The critic Ziolkowski has described Steppenwolf as "A Sonata in Prose," examining the musical aspects of the novel's structure. In simpler terms, the story falls roughly into thirds: the "Preface" and Harry Haller's records, entitled "For Madmen Only"; the early passages of the "Treatise on the Steppenwolf," up to the point where Haller first enters the Magic Theatre; and the rest of the book. Unlike Siddhartha and Demian, after the "Preface" there are no chapter divisions in this novel; the narrative forges ahead without pause. The central part of the book covers a period of about a month, though any sense of time is pretty much abandoned in the surreal passages that conclude the novel.

These surrealistic effects, while by no means unique, are especially daring in Steppenwolf. Often, the only real connection between one event and the one that follows it is that Harry Haller experiences both. For example, a more or less separate episode commences when Harry goes through a particular door of the Theatre as when Haller goes through the door inscribed, "Jolly Hunting Great Automobile Hunt" and sees "the long-prepared, long-awaited and long-feared war between men and machines." As the scene progresses, Hesse's predictions of another real war become clear. Haller gets involved and joins a boyhood friend, a minor character named Gustav, in shooting at passing cars. The episode, which is sharply critical of war and takes on an intensely sarcastic tone, ends abruptly as Harry falls into "empty space" and finds himself suddenly outside in the corridor again. Such odd passages abound in Steppenwolf.

Another difference between this novel and Hesse's earlier work is point of view. The use of a narrator's voice to open the story is unusual for Hesse, although the device works well here. Then, the opening forty pages or so of the "Treatise" are in the third person. At the close of the "Treatise," the point of view switches to first person as Harry tells his own story. This switch is effective here, but it is a marked departure from Hesse's approach in Demian and Siddhartha.

Because of the novel's surrealistic elements, plot, characterization, setting, and style are unusual. The overall tone of the book is also gloomier than any of Hesse's other major novels. Part of the reason, of course, is the subject matter: the struggles of a lone man to learn to make sense of a chaotic world. Even Haller's personal reflections reveal a deep sadness:

He [modern man] has lost the love of inanimate objects. He does not even love his most sacred object, his motor-car, but is ever hoping to exchange it as soon as he can for a later model. . . . But all that was no concern of mine. I was not a modern man, nor an old-fashioned one either. I had escaped time altogether, and went my way, with death at my elbow and death as my resolve.

Certainly,' Hesse's intent here, besides the obvious criticism of modern society, is to present Haller as a symbolic figure representing the age-old dilemma of nature versus art and humanity, and to do so in what the author sees as an appropriately caustic manner.

Social Concerns

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In 1914, with the outbreak of the First World War, the German novelist Hermann Hesse was searching for answers to some important questions in his life. The strain of his pacifist beliefs and the domestic crises affecting his country spurred Hesse to undergo therapy with a follower of the pioneer psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung. This experience gave the writer some fresh insights and added a new dimension to his fiction. The novels Demian (1919), Siddhartha (1922), and Steppenwolf (1927) reflect this and also the influences of the German philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821- 1881), German philosopher Oswald Spengler (1880-1936), and Buddhist mysticism. These three books are based on the belief that Western civilization is doomed and so man must express himself in order to find his own nature.

Literary critic Edwin Casebeer has observed that Harry Haller, the protagonist of the novel Steppenwolf, is struggling to become a Siddhartha (the given name of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of the Buddhist religion), which means "one who has reached the goal." He is also striving to find accommodation with society and himself, as Buddha did. No matter how you view this highly surrealistic book, one of its vital features is the sense of alienation that plagues Harry Haller. Just as the "wolf of the steppes" is a loner, Haller is unable to fit into society, and he suffers terribly as a result. The novel deals with how Harry tries to reconcile his wolfish instincts and his spiritual needs.

Steppenwolf is set against the historical backdrop of Germany in the 1920s. Weimar Germany, as it was known, was in a state of near anarchy; the disastrous consequences of losing the First World War, including mass unemployment, social unrest, runaway inflation, and political instability, had brought the country to its knees and provided fertile ground for the rise of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist party—the Nazis. As Hesse's novel opens, German society is in chaos, and Harry Haller finds this especially traumatic. While the bourgeois aspects of the world are distasteful to him, he struggles to cope. As the book's narrator points out, Harry represents the "sickness of the times, the neurosis of a generation."

The most striking way in which Harry tries to overcome his difficulties is what the critic Boulby emphasizes as "magic thinking" (an aspect that he also sees in some of Hermann Hesse's other novels), which is objectified by the Magic Theatre. All manner of bizarre events take place there, and this is where Haller begins to find his way. He tells the narrator that "nothing lies further from my mind than to make fun of this orderliness and bourgeois way of life," yet he expends a great deal of effort trying to come to terms with it. Thus, Steppenwolf is as much a psychological and philosophical novel as it is a novel of social criticism. The society that it depicts is an unwholesome one that is uncongenial for sensitive souls like Harry Haller.

Compare and Contrast

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  • 1920s: Many in Europe are convinced that it is only a matter of time before another war breaks out on the continent. The prospect of war is connected to the fact that Germany resents the harsh conditions imposed on it in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
    Today: Having endured two major wars in the twentieth century, Europe is now involved in a network of economic and political relationships within the European Union that make a war between the principal powers of France, Britain, and Germany unlikely.
  • 1920s: In 1920, there are 7.5 million cars and trucks in the United States. The rise of the automobile industry in the United States and Europe leads to the development of infrastructure (new roads) and the decline of other modes of transportation such as horse-drawn vehicles, bicycles, streetcars, and interurban trains. Cars change everyday life for millions. Travel becomes easier and more convenient, increasing personal freedom and mobility. The growth of technology also leads some to fear the increasing mechanization of society and human subservience to machines, an attitude that Hesse dramatizes in the "war on the automobiles" section in Steppenwolf.
    Today: There are 220 million cars in the United States and 500 million cars worldwide. Cars are the main source of transportation in most developed countries. Rising gasoline prices and awareness of environmental pollution caused by the automobile lead to the development of hybrid vehicles that use electric power in addition to gasoline. Some of these cars yield as much as seventy miles to the gallon in freeway driving.
  • 1920s: Jazz, a form of music imported from the United States, becomes extremely popular in Germany. During the Weimar Republic, jazz becomes almost the national music, heard in cafés, dance halls, films and on gramophone records. American jazz musicians tour German cities.
    Today: Germany today remains strongly influenced by American culture, including jazz, television, and movies. Over 85 percent of movies playing in German cinemas are made in Hollywood. After Japan, Germany is the biggest foreign market for American films.

Literary Precedents

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Surrealism appeared in visual arts and poetry long before it appeared in prose (a striking example is Victorian poet Robert Browning's "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"); but, there were several important prose works in this genre in the early twentieth century. Two especially noteworthy examples are the Irish writer James Joyce's celebrated 1922 novel Ulysses, which was published five years before Steppenwolf; and, French writer Andre Gide's novel The Counterfeiters, which appeared in 1927, the same year as Steppenwolf. Surrealist literature is relatively rare for various reasons, one being that it is very difficult to write. Most critics believe that Herman Hesse accomplished the task as well as anyone could have.

Media Adaptations

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  • Steppenwolf was made into a film in 1974, written and directed by Fred Haines, starring Max von Sydow as Harry Haller and Dominique Sanda as Hermine. As of 2006, the film was in print and available for purchase in VHS format from Amazon.com and other Internet vendors.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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Sources

"Beastly Nightmares," in The Guardian, June 21, 1929, n.p., http://books.guardian.co.uk/ (accessed April 26, 2006).

Field, G. W., Hermann Hesse, Twayne's World Author Series, No. 93, Twayne Publishers, 1970, pp. 86-108.

Hesse, Hermann, Steppenwolf, translated by Basil Creighton, Holt, Rinehart and Wilson, 1929.

Further Reading

Boulby, Mark, Hermann Hesse: His Mind and Art, Cornell University Press, 1967, pp. 159-205.

As of 2006, this was one of the most detailed readings available. Boulby discusses such topics as the significance of music for the novel's structure and theme; he views the novel as an optimistic one in which faith imposes order on chaos.

Mileck, Joseph, Hermann Hesse: Life and Art, University of California Press, 1978, pp. 174-97.

Mileck discusses such topics as the autobiographical elements in Steppenwolf. He doubts that Hesse himself took hallucinogenic drugs, even though Haller in the novel uses them to achieve self-knowledge.

Sorrell, Walter, Hermann Hesse: The Man Who Sought and Found Himself, Owald Wolff, 1974, pp. 83-93.

This is a concise overview of Hesse's life and work. Most interesting for an understanding of Steppenwolf is the chapter on Hesse's ironic brand of humor.

Tusken, Lewis W., Understanding Hermann Hesse: The Man, His Myth, His Metaphor, University of South Carolina, 1998, pp. 108-27.

Tusken gives a reading of Steppenwolf in mostly Jungian terms. The novel is an attempt to construct a literary metaphor for the Jungian concept of individuation, the development of all aspects of a person's individuality.

Bibliography

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Boulby, Mark. “The Steppenwolf.” In Hermann Hesse: His Mind and Art. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1967. Compares the structure and motifs of Steppenwolf with those of Hesse’s other novels. Discusses how depersonalization becomes an essential element in the solution of Harry Haller’s dilemma.

Casebeer, Edwin F. “Steppenwolf: Siddhartha Today.” In Hermann Hesse. New York: Warner Paperback Library, 1972. A Jungian interpretation of Steppenwolf. Sees Hermine as the anima and Pablo/Mozart as the Self of Harry Haller, especially in the Magic Theater dream world that the Self creates to discover its real nature.

Field, George Wallis. “Der Steppenwolf: Crisis and Recovery.” In Hermann Hesse. Boston: Twayne, 1970. Traces the autobiographical element and the development of the humor theme from Hesse’s earlier works into Steppenwolf. Discusses the themes of sexuality, cultural criticism, music, and the transcendence of reality.

Freedman, Ralph. “Person and Persona: The Magic Mirrors of Steppenwolf.” In Hesse: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Theodore Ziolkowski. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1973. Posits that Hesse created protagonists as images and distortions of himself to reflect the interplay between self-in-life (person) and self-in-art (persona). Discusses how Jungian psychoanalysis fashioned many of the artistic strategies in Steppenwolf.

Ziolkowski, Theodore. “The Steppenwolf: A Sonata in Prose.” In The Novels of Hermann Hesse: A Study in Theme and Structure. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1965. Focuses on the technical problems of the novel’s structure and explains how Hesse used musical sonata form to shape Steppenwolf.

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