Dr. Knoegle’s End
03/30/2009 § 1 Comment
The majority of people who had derailed themselves from Europe and America carried with them one single vice that many vegetarians had–they had an aversion to work.
–Herman Hesse, Dr. Knoegle’s End
My friend let me borrow The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse. And so I don’t post about Orlando Furioso all the time I decided to post about it.
I had never even known that he wrote fairy tales. I’m really birdbrained sometimes. I am however not entirely birdbrained and am somewhat familiar with his writings, having enjoyed them to varying degrees. Thinking about it later, Herman Hesse is a perfect soul to craft Fairy Tales, even his longer works feel kind of magical and, I dunno, light…airy…shimmery- –like the forest in the morning…you know, all that junk.
The whole collection is good. It’s a quick read and since I don’t speak German, I can’t really tell if it’s accurate, but it’s good. Jack Zipes has done a good job with the stories in translation. The tone seems right. Jack zipes also writes great criticism on fairy tales in general and folklore if anyone is interested; Breaking the Magic Spell, in particular. *wink*
The quote at the top of this post is from Dr. Knoegles End, a story about a vegetarian utopia in which the good doctor makes enemies with Jonas, a disciple of the pure pulpist movement…people “wanting to come closer to the soil.” Amazingly enough Jonas’ thumbs and big toes were in the miraculous process of reverting back to their primitive state.
This story is the best. I don’t know what the point of it is. I read it twice and I’m pretty confused. It seems strange to me that Herman Hesse would be mocking anyone, even vegetarians….so I don’t think it’s that. But maybe it’s just a parable about how people are mean to each other. Even people with like interests. Dr. Knoegle is a tourist in the vegetarian world after all.
Whatever reading one could assign is irrelevent in my mind. It’s just a funny, original story. Who knew a fairy tale could be constructed from characters who don’t eat meat?