'Steppenwolf' is Published
Harry Haller is the Steppenwolf: wild, strange, shy and alienated from society.
His despair and desire for death draw him into a dark, enchanted underworld. Through a series of shadowy encounters – romantic, freakish and savage by turn – the misanthropic Haller gradually begins to rediscover the lost dreams of his youth. This blistering portrayal of a man who feels himself to be half-human and half-wolf was the bible of the 1960s counterculture, capturing the mood of a disaffected generation, and remains a haunting story of estrangement and redemption.
This Faust-like and magical story of the humanization of a middle-aged misanthrope was described in The New York Times as a 'savage indictment of bourgeois society'. But, as the author notes in this edition, Steppenwolf is a book that has been consistently misinterpreted. This self-portrait of a man who felt himself to be half-human and half-wolf can also be seen as a plea for rigorous self-examination and an indictment of intellectual hypocrisy.