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Old 20th September 2011, 06:30 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Herman Hesse

I think Hesse is such a great writer. I've read "Steppenwolf", "Narcissus and Goldmund" and "The Glass Bead Game" (aka "Magister Ludi"). I enjoyed these very much, and fully intend to read more at some point.
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Old 20th September 2011, 07:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Herman Hesse

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Originally Posted by antiloquax View Post
I think Hesse is such a great writer. I've read "Steppenwolf", "Narcissus and Goldmund" and "The Glass Bead Game" (aka "Magister Ludi"). I enjoyed these very much, and fully intend to read more at some point.
a
True but have you read Arno Schmidt yet?... I think he and Mann are the two that I place above Hesse or any other German author of the last century. Gunter Grass I place on a similar level to Hesse.

Hans Fallada, Herman Broch, Ernst Junger and Heinrich Boll are the others I'm aware of.

Adds these to the reviews list....
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Old 20th September 2011, 07:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Herman Hesse

No, I haven't read any Arno Schmidt. Of the other writers you mentioned, I have only read "The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum" by Boll. I read this just after reading The Baader-Meinhof Complex and Hitler's Children. Boll explores the impact of the state's response to the Red Army Faction's activities in that novel. The book's structure (sort of a pseudo-documentary) is striking.

I think that what I like about Hesse is how he addresses the tensions between the spiritual life and artistic endeavour.

I don't know why I haven't got around to reading any Thomas Mann ....
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Old 20th September 2011, 01:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Herman Hesse

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No, I haven't read any Arno Schmidt. Of the other writers you mentioned, I have only read "The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum" by Boll. I read this just after reading The Baader-Meinhof Complex and Hitler's Children. Boll explores the impact of the state's response to the Red Army Faction's activities in that novel. The book's structure (sort of a pseudo-documentary) is striking.

I think that what I like about Hesse is how he addresses the tensions between the spiritual life and artistic endeavour.

I don't know why I haven't got around to reading any Thomas Mann ....
a
Your description of Hesse's style is quite apt I think.

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum is by far Boll's best known work but not his best work. His greatest work IMO is in fact Billiards At Half Past Nine followed very closely by Group Portrait With Lady. The Clown I haven't read but have heard good things about as well as The Train Was On Time. Of these I would recommend Billiards At Half Past Nine first and foremost.

For Mann start with his short fiction which is also generally of a high standard. Death In Venice is one of the greatest short stories ever written but there's several other notables as well. For novels I would start with Dr. Faustus and then move on to the heavier read in The Magic Mountain. Buddenbrooks I have not gotten around to reading..I think..yet but those 3 novels form Mann's main ouevre. The Lowe-Porter translations are best for Death In Venice and other shorter fiction. For the novels you can't go past the excellent John Woods.

Cheers.
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Old 20th September 2011, 03:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Herman Hesse

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Yes, I've seen a growing interest in a wider variety of writings from you over the years, Conn, and it's been a very interesting (and, if I may say so, refreshing) experience.

However, what I mean by the above is, in part, that the division between what we might consider sff and "mainstream" is, with classic literature especially, almost entirely illusory, as the great writers crossed boundaries not only with complete insouciance, but without even thinking of them as boundaries (in most cases). The fantastic was as legitimate an approach to addressing what a writer wished to say as any other, so that readers who do prefer things with that sort of fantastic approach would be robbing themselves of some marvelous work here by setting his writings off from that field simply because it isn't classified as such by many....
Yeah i have seen that too there isnt much boundaries specially classic literature. Readers like me dont care if a classic author wrote fantastic,SF,horror like story. Many classic works feature "SFF" elements. Sorry if i understood what you meant.

Hence i read Hesse for modern novel class and next books for class talk is 1984 and Lolita.

I have found a haven in academic,scholars, other literary fans around Uni who doesnt care to put tag on things like critics does on "mainstream and " genre". My last two teachers was talking to me how they agreed on Hammett literary genius and how its right he has been canoized as American great. I have not seen as much literary snobs that i thought.
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Old 20th September 2011, 04:16 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Herman Hesse

Thomas Mann's Confessions Of Felix Krull is a great book.
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Old 20th September 2011, 05:37 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Herman Hesse

Thanks for your pointers, Gollum.
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Old 21st September 2011, 11:16 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Herman Hesse

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Thomas Mann's Confessions Of Felix Krull is a great book.
Yes that's in fact the 4th of his great novels. Thanks for bringing that to notice here.

@antiloquax: No problem. You'll find anything relating to German or Latin American Literature in particular can cause me to type pages of copious notes...approaching JD-esque proportions... Stephen is right. Confessions Of Felix Krull is definitely worth reading.
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