Unterm Rad

Unterm RadThis is only Hesse s second novel and not his best It is somewhat autobiographical and, like many of the author s novels, is a tale of a young man s disillusionment, rebellion and self discovery My notes on the book from the time of reading summarize it as follows Raised without a mother and crushed by the ordered, competitive, masculine world s expectations The destruction of a young spirit. Life lessons and a great protagonist occupy this second Hesse novel that I read, BENEATH THE WHEEL Great book In Hermann Hesse S Beneath The Wheel Or The Prodigy, Hans Giebenrath Lives Among The Dull And Respectable Townsfolk Of A Sleepy Black Forest Village When He Is Discovered To Be An Exceptionally Gifted Student, The Entire Community Presses Him Onto A Path Of Serious Scholarship Hans Dutifully Follows The Regimen Of Tireless Study And Endless Examinations, His Success Rewarded Only With Crushing Assignments When Hans Befriends A Rebellious Young Poet, He Begins To Imagine Other Possibilities Outside The Narrowly Circumscribed World Of The Academy Finally Sent Home After A Nervous Breakdown, Hans Is Revived By Nature And Romance, And Vows Never To Return To The Gray Conformity Of The Academic System If you re an educator, you need to read this book It s unfortunate that today s education crushes the individual spirit and is about bubbling scantrons It s all about money by the testing companies, no wonder most americans are clueless about our nation s history Years of watching reality television and American Gladiators I suppose Hesse is the best writer ever in my opinion, just his use of description is amazing in itself I love the ending of this book It is sad and beautiful Hesse uses the eastern philosophy of yin and yang, when a young student meets his opposite at school a new world opens up A must read. In Japan, this is one of the most popular title by this author, and like other teens who like reading, I read and loved it It doesn t look very popular in the US interesting A few other books I picked up in those days partly because my friends were reading them ah, the peer pressure should I mention I was a top student were The Sorrows of Young Werther, Strait is the Gate, Bonjour tristesse, short stories by Chekhov Anton lovely assortment, isn t it We didn t know the existence of On the Road or Lolita.School started this week, and I wonder what today s teens are reading. Underrated brilliance from Hesse about an insanely hard working student who finally cracks like an egg and has to slow down and appreciate the world around him, even if it kills him This kind of tale gets pretty trite very easily, but Hesse s Germanic Zen outlook defines existence in a marvelous and offbeat light. This story showcases Hesse s brilliant prose mixed with his thoughts on life, aging, and love In a story centered around a bright, gifted, yet timid boy Hesse shows both sides of the spectrum, celebrating the pain and sorrow along with the joys and surprises of life The boy s tale is equally beautiful and tragic He has extraordinary gifts that simply do not fit into the demanded one narrow path of life for small town German students at the time Unfortunately, he is crushed beneath the wheel like a cog in the machine, and the world does not benefit from his talents and vision This boy was called to join in the higher realm of thinkers and people, yet due to the conditions of society he is unable to live this out Perhaps a line where Hesse describes learning sums up the view of society and life just as well, Every day true scholarship seemed beautiful, difficult, worthwhile In this novel Hesse shows life as beautiful, difficult, and worthwhile if one can overcome the obstacles presented by a society intent on suffocating dreams The clear menace in this tale is the system of school, organized religion, and people who place their demands on students instead of letting them explore the world Our protagonist is the victim, but the intended effect is that the reader take away this lesson and not join their ranks Hesse still celebrates life and the poetry of every moment, and he viciously attacks those who suppress it in this tragic tale.One question I had while reading this novel is whether or not adulthood itself is another enemy The transition from childhood to adulthood is performed though love, which Hans experiences first through friendship, then through a hint of homosexuality, and then finally through heterosexual longing The transition into adulthood opens the door to pain and suffering Though love is beautiful, it is not clear in this novel whether or not Hesse thinks its beauty is worth the price of innocence lost The passages describing Hans falling in love are absolutely stunning, however the cost of love remains unsettled Is adulthood and love worth the pain of growing up Hesse leaves this unanswered, which is a surprise in this novel Another surprise is the passage about a homosexual experience and an unlikely person at the end of the book to accept any of the blame There are questions open to consideration through a tale that describes the beauty of life through poetic prose A damn good book, classic Hesse.QuotesIt was possible to live in this town and give the appearance of being educated without knowing the speeches in Zarathustra 5Thus his future was mapped out, for in all of Swabia there existed but one narrow path for talented boys that is, unless their parents were wealthy 5In a single hour he introduced Hans to an entirely new approach to learning and reading Hands received an intimation of what tasks and puzzles lay hidden in each line and word, how thousands of scholars and investigators had expended their efforts since the earliest times to unravel these questions, and it seemed to him that he was being accepted into the ranks of these truth seekers this very hour 47Every day true scholarship seemed beautiful, difficult, worthwhile 47It has occurred to many people while they stood on this square that it would be just the right place for the good life and happiness, for something lively and gratifying to grow, for mature and good people to think glad thoughts and produce beautiful, cheerful works 57Proud and praiseworthy feelings and high hopes swelled in their breasts and it did not occur to a single one of them that this day he was selling his child for a financial advantage it did not occur to any of the boys, nor to their fathers, that all this would perhaps not really be free 65 He realized that there are certain sins and omissions beyond forgiveness and repentance and it seemed to him that the stretcher bore not the tailor s little son but Heilner, who now took all the pain and anger caused by Han s faithlessness with him far into another world where people were judged not by their grades and examination marks and scholastic success but soley in accord with the purity or impurity of their consciences they realized for a fleeting moment how irrecoverable and unique is each life and youth 94Anyone with a touch of genius seems to his teachers a freak from the very first a teacher s task is not to produce extravagant intellects but good Latinists, arithmeticians and sober decent folk among true geniuses the wounds almost always heal As their personalities develop, they create their art in spite of school thus the struggle between rule and spirit repeats itself year after year from school to school 100He was like someone in love for the first time he felt capable of performing great heroic deed but not the daily chore of boring, petty work 103Their faces displayed the whole spectrum of shadings between vanishing childishness and budding manhood 106Hans thoughts and dreams now moved in this world to which he had been so long a stranger He sought refuge from his great disappointment and hopelessness in a past that had been good to him In those days he had been full of hope, had seen the world lying before him like a vast enchanted forest holding gruesome dangers, accursed treasures and emerald castles in its impenetrable depths He had entered a little way into this wilderness but he had become weary before he had found miracles 138He stared at her with a mixture of unfamiliar desire and bad conscience In this hour something broke inside him and a new, alien but enticing land with distant blue shores opened up before his soul He did not know or could only guess what the apprehension and sweet agony signified, and did not know which was stronger, pain or desire.But the desire signified the first intimation of the mighty forces of life, and the pain signified that the morning peace had been broken, that his soul had left that childhood land which can never be found again He must find his own way and be his own savior 150Fearful but shaken to the roots of his being, he felt the nearness of a great mystery, not knowing whether it would be delicious or dreadful but having a foretaste of both 153The pain and anger over this loss and the restlessness of his inflamed but unsatisfied passion came together in a single, agonizing confusion In this way he discovered perhaps too soon his share of the secret of love, and it contained little sweetness and much bitterness 165 An English translation of my review can be found below.Dieser Roman erinnerte mich daran, was ich schon in meiner Jugend an Hermann Hesse so verlockend fand Er war ein wunderbarer Schriftsteller Seine pr zisen Beschreibungen sowohl des Innenlebens des ungl cklichen Klostersch lers Hans Giebenrath wie der widerspr chlichen Sch nheit der physischen Umwelt, in der er zu Grunde ging, sind au erordentlich Die wundersch ne Sprache des Romans bt eine fast magische Wirkung auf den Leser aus Unterm Rad ist autobiografisch in dem Sinne, da Hesse sich selbst in Hermann Heilner, dem besten Freund von Hans, darstellt Hermann, ein sehr begabter aber aufr hrerischer junger Mensch, kommt in der repressiven Schule nicht zurecht Da er es prinzipiell ablehnt, sich der Gesellschaftsordnung anzupassen, wird er entlassen.Hans wiederum verk rpert Hesses gleichnamigen Bruder, der wegen seiner eigenen Qualen Selbstmord begangen hat, nachdem die Schule ihn psychisch gebrochen hat Im Roman wird Hans ebenfalls entlassen, aber haupts chlich wegen seiner schlechten Gesundheit schwindelerregende Kopfschmerzen , obwohl der Rektor es ihm auch belnimmt, da er unter den Einfluss von Hermann geraten ist Aus beiden Gr nden kann er dem Leistungsdruck nicht standhalten Das Kloster Maulbronn, wo Hesse nach dem bestandenen Landexamen Latein gelernt hat und wo der Roman sich abspielt, wurde von der UNESCO als Weltkulturerbe anerkannt.Vor diesem Hintergrund ist es leicht nachzuvollziehen, wie Hesse in dem Roman das Bed rfnis hatte, sich mit der autorit ren Erziehung in Deutschland des fr hen zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts so schonungslos auseinanderzusetzen Seine Bildungskritik ist berzeugend.Lieblingszitat Nur nicht matt werden, sonst kommt man unters Rad This novel reminded me what I found so compelling about Hermann Hesse in my youth He was a wonderful writer His precise descriptions of both the inner life of the unhappy cloister student Hans Giebenrath and the contradictory beauty of the physical environment, in which he perished, are extraordinary The wonderfully beautiful language of the novel has an almost magical effect on the reader Under the Wheel is autobiographical in the sense that Hesse represents himself in Hermann Heilner, Hans s best friend Hermann, a very gifted but rebellious young man, cannot cope with the repressive school Since he refuses as a matter of principle to conform to the social order, he is expelled Hans, in turn, personifies Hesse s eponymous brother, who committed suicide because of his own torments after school destroyed him psychologically In the novel, Hans is likewise expelled, but primarily due to his poor health dizziness inducing headaches , although the headmaster also resents the fact that he has fallen under Hermann s influence For both reasons, he cannot handle the pressure to perform UNESCO has recognized the Maulbronn Cloister, where Hesse studied Latin after passing the state examination and where the novel is set, as a World Heritage Site.Against this backdrop, it is easy to understand why Hesse had the need in the novel to deal with the authoritarian style of schooling in Germany in the early 20th century so unsparingly His critique of the educational system is convincing Favorite quote Just don t wear yourself out, otherwise you ll end up under the wheel. It is not so much that it was a bad book, but it made me want to kill myself. Unterm Rad Beneath the Wheel, Hermann HesseBeneath the Wheel is the story of Hans Giebenrath, a talented boy sent to a seminary in Maulbronn His education is focused completely on increasing his knowledge, and neglects personal development His close friendship with Hermann Heilner, a less academically assiduous and liberal fellow student, is a source of comfort for Hans Heilner is expelled from the seminary, and Giebenrath is sent home after his academic performance decreases in tandem with the onset of symptoms of mental illness Back home, he finds coping with his situation difficult, having lost most of his childhood to scholastic study, and thus having never formed lasting personal relationships with anyone in his village He is apprenticed as a blacksmith, and seems to find satisfaction in the work it is visceral and concrete, as opposed to the intellectual abstraction of scholarly pursuit Despite some personal fulfillment in his existence, Hans never fully adjusts to his new situation On a pub crawl in a neighbouring village, he and his colleagues get drunk Giebenrath leaves the group to walk home early Later, he is found to have drowned in a river 1990 1367 241

Hermann Hesse was a German Swiss poet, novelist, and painter In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature His best known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game also known as Magister Ludi which explore an individual s search for spirituality outside society.In his time, Hesse was a popular and influential author in the German speaking world worldwide fame only came later Hesse s f

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  • Paperback
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  • Unterm Rad
  • Hermann Hesse
  • English
  • 07 April 2017
  • 9780312422301

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