Nagai, Hesse

January 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Reading Nagai Kafu’s diaries prompts me to look for commentary online.  The few bloggers writing about Nagai — yes, there are a few — miss the point (that he found modernity hostile and defined himself in opposition to it); perhaps because they have not (could not have) read the diaries (they’re written in now obsolete bungo).

Then I read Steppenwolf — which strikes with its oddity; why, even perversion.  I look for comments on that and discover that criticism of the novel has mainly revolved around drugs and sex (people either like it because it is hip, or hate it because it is immoral); which has to miss the point; and bloggers have absolutely nothing interesting to say on the topic.  An online article is patently wrong in stating the wolf/man dichotomy is good-versus-evil.

I’m surrounded by idiots.

Incidentally, Hesse’s vision of the Steppenwolf is wrong.  Wolves are social animals, as much part of their (mediocre, ordinary, middle class) tribe as man.  He meant a solitary hunter like a tiger.


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