In publishing Hermann Hesse for the first time, Folio presents an edition of Steppenwolf featuring images by Dan Hillier, and a very unusual facsimile, bound into the book itself.
- The Times
Isolated from modern life and hiding from his past, Harry Haller is tormented by the sense that he is two beings in one body: the savage ’wolf of the steppes’, and his intellectual human self. Unable to force his dual natures to coexist, suicide appears to offer his only path to peace. However, when he is given a pamphlet that seems intimately familiar with his innermost struggles, it prompts a life-affirming spiritual awakening – via a hallucinatory exploration of the physical self. A modernist masterpiece that found new popularity in the revolutionary 1960s, we have chosen to craft a suitably unusual edition of this remarkable work.
‘A profoundly memorable and affecting novel’
- New York Times
Celebrated for the fantastical human/animal hybrids that stalk through his works, artist Dan Hillier has provided the imagery and binding design for this, the only illustrated edition of Steppenwolf in print. As well as the compelling images capturing Harry’s dual nature and his urban isolation, Hillier also worked on a special insert, bound within the book. Crafted to recreate the iconic pamphlet that ultimately leads Harry on his hallucinatory journey, the insert features cover designs by Hillier, and is printed on a specially chosen rough textured paper to set it apart from the rest of the book.
After Hermann Hesse’s troubled first marriage fell apart, he too moved away from his family, choosing to isolate himself, and Steppenwolf’s realistic and poignant depiction of despair is grounded in this experience. Adopted by the counter-culture movement in the 1960s in part due to its positive outlook on sex and drugs, Steppenwolf has become a key modernist text, continuing to find significance with those who feel themselves to be outsiders. Hesse himself felt that it was the most ’violently misunderstood’ of his novels and in his postscript, included in this edition, he seeks to remind future readers that, for all its strangeness, Harry’s journey is ultimately one of recovery.
Bound in printed and blocked heat-sensitive paper
208 pages with 32-page pamphlet insert
Black & white title-page spread, black & white illustrated tract cover
Printed and spot-varnished endpapers
9˝ x 5¾˝