Yesterday morning I picked up Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse. I had exactly ten minutes, and I could have picked nothing, as well. But then I have been patiently reading it, in whatever slots I’m getting. Such a injustice to one of my all time favorite authors, I know. Well, as it turns out, I did the right thing, after all. And this was the reward:
Ah, but it is hard to find this track of the divine in the midst of this
life we lead, in this besotted humdrum age of spiritual blindness, with
its architecture, its business, its politics, its men! How could I fail
to be a lone wolf, and an uncouth hermit, as I did not share one of its
aims nor understand one of its pleasures? I cannot remain for long in
either theater or picture-house. I can scarcely read a paper, seldom a
modern book. I cannot understand what pleasures and joys they are that
drive people to the overcrowded railways and hotels, into the packed
cafés with the suffocating and oppressive music, to the Bars and variety
entertainments, to World Exhibitions, to the Corsos. I cannot understand
nor share these joys, though they are within my reach, for which
thousands of others strive. On the other hand, what happens to me in my
rare hours of joy, what for me is bliss and life and ecstasy and
exaltation, the world in general seeks at most in imagination; in life
it finds it absurd. And in fact, if the world is right, if this music of
the cafés, these mass enjoyments and these Americanised men who are
pleased with so little are right, then I am wrong, I am crazy. I am in
truth the Steppenwolf that I often call myself; that beast astray who
finds neither home nor joy nor nourishment in a world that is strange
and incomprehensible to him.
Hesse, is pure bliss.
More on the subject: Touch of Divinity.