Sunday, June 15, 2008

'for madmen only' -- or differentiated loners

'How absurd those words are, such as beast and beast of prey. One should not speak of animals in that way. They may be terrible sometimes, but they're much more right than men.'
'How do you mean - right?'
'Well, look at an animal, a cat, a dog, or a bird, or one of those beautiful great beasts in the Zoo, a puma or a giraffe. You can't help seeing that all of them are right. They're never in any embarrassment. They always know what to do and how to behave themselves. They don't want to impress you. No play-acting. They are as they are, like stones or flowers or stars in the sky. Don't you agree?'
I did.
'Animals are sad as a rule,' she went on. 'And when a man is sad - I don't mean because he has a toothache or has lost some money, but because he sees, for once in a way, how it all is with life and everything, and is sad in earnest - he always looks a little like an animal. He then looks not only sad, but more right and more beautiful than usual. That's how it is, and that's how you looked, Steppenwolf, when I saw you for the first time.'

-Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

No comments: