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The Prodigy
 
by
Hermann Hesse
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The Prodigy (Modern Classics)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  6,410 ratings  ·  245 reviews
Zu den wichtigsten Frühwerken Hermann Hesses gehört sein Schulroman Unterm Rad über das Schicksal eines begabten Kindes, das am Erwartungsdruck seines Vaters und der Umwelt zerbricht. Hesse hat darin viel von dem verarbeitet, was er selbst erleben mußte. So glaubten seine Erzieher, den 14jährigen in einer Heilanstalt für Schwachsinnige und Epileptische unterbringen zu müss...more
Published (first published 1906)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Damien
It is not so much that it was a bad book, but it made me want to kill myself.
TeacherMrLoria
This story showcases Hesse’s brilliant prose mixed with his thoughts on life, aging, and love. In a story centered around a bright, gifted, yet timid boy Hesse shows both sides of the spectrum, celebrating the pain and sorrow along with the joys and surprises of life. The boy’s tale is equally beautiful and tragic. He has extraordinary gifts that simply do not fit into the demanded “one narrow path” of life for small town German students at the time. Unfortunately, he is crushed beneath the whee...more
Thom Young
If you're an educator, you need to read this book. It's unfortunate that today's education crushes the individual spirit and is more about bubbling scantrons. It's all about money by the testing companies, no wonder most americans are clueless about our nation's history. Years of watching reality television and American Gladiators I suppose. Hesse is the best writer ever in my opinion, just his use of description is amazing in itself. I love the ending of this book. It is sad and beautiful. Hess...more
Henna
يك آموزگار ترجيح مي دهد كه تمامي دانش آموزان كلاسش بچه هاي كودن باشند ولي هيچ شاگرد نابغه اي بين آنان نباشد، و از حق نبايد گذشت كه حق با اوست، زيرا او موظف نيست كه بچه هاي غير طبيعي را آموزش بدهد بلكه موظف است لاتين دان، رياضيدان، و ابلهان درستكار و فرمانبردار به بار بياورد. حال كدام يك از دست ديگري رنج مي برد، آموزگار از دست شاگرد يا شاگرد از دست آموزگار كه خودكامه و شكنجه گري بزرگتر است ونيز كدام يك به سهم و به نوبه خود زندگي و روح روان آن ديگري را به تباهي مي كشاند و از بين مي برد، موضوعي است...more
Andy
Jul 23, 2008 Andy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mid-term finals freaks
Shelves: kool-imports
Underrated brilliance from Hesse about an insanely hard-working student who finally cracks like an egg and has to slow down and appreciate the world around him, even if it kills him. This kind of tale gets pretty trite very easily, but Hesse's Germanic Zen outlook defines existence in a marvelous and offbeat light.
Seth
An English translation of my review can be found below.

Dieser Roman erinnerte mich daran, was ich schon in meiner Jugend an Hermann Hesse so verlockend fand. Er war ein wunderbarer Schriftsteller! Seine präzisen Beschreibungen sowohl des Innenlebens des unglücklichen Klosterschülers Hans Giebenrath wie der widersprüchlichen Schönheit der physischen Umwelt, in der er zu Grunde ging, sind außerordentlich. Die wunderschöne Sprache des Romans übt eine fast magische Wirkung auf den Leser aus.

„Unterm...more
Bennard
from The Book Hooligan

"For he was aware that in the academy he would have to be even more ambitious if he wanted to outstrip his new fellow students. Why did he want to surpass them actually? He didn't really know himself." - Narrator

I was raised believing that education and blind respect for authority are two of the most important things that I child should value. I studied for the sake of moving on to the next level of education with a good school. At that time, academic growth was more valued...more
Afshar

چند سال قبل كه خودم دانش آموز دبيرستان بودم اين كتاب را امانت گرفتم ولي اون موقع نتوانستم بجز چند ورق چيزي بخوانم.
حتي فاجعه بزرگتر از اين ها هم بود فكر مي كردم اسم كتاب گرگ بيابان است.
چند روز قبل كه ياد طعم عجيب آن چند ورق افتادم بالاخره كتاب را خواندم.
بيشتر به اين فكر ميكردم كه اگر اين داستان را 10 سال قبل مي خواندم چه تاثيري روي زندگي ام مي گذاشت.
چون يك مقدار ناچيز انحراف در مسير در طول چندين سال بعد شايد كل مسير را عوض كند
هانس كودكي كه هنوز كودكي را خوب نچشيده،رداي بزرگان را به تنش كردند.
وي ن...more
Shaimaa Ali
هذه هى الرواية الثانية التى كتبها هيرمان هسة فى مطلع حياته بعد "بيتر كامنستد" وأستطيع تصنيفها الى أنها تنتمى الى المرحلة الرومانسية من كتاباته .. حيث ركز فى هذه المرحلة على الصراعات النفسية (خصوصاً للبطل المراهق) ، اتحاده بالطبيعة ، توقه الى الحرية والحياة ، غياب الطفولة و أحاسيس مشاعر المراهقة الأولى وخاصةً نحو الجنس الآخر ..

هذه المرحلة أيضاً تكاد تخلو من الحوارات الطويلة العميقة كما هو ملاحظ فى رواياته التالية: "ذئب السهوب"، " سدهارتا" ، "نارسيس و جولدمند " ، و "دميان" .. ولكن احتفظت بواحدة م...more
Katie
This book is Hesse's indictment of educational systems that value memorization and dissection over appreciation of beauty, that convey knowledge without provoking understanding. Students are working, working, working, but never getting anywhere worthwhile. In my favorite passage, student/poet Hermann Heilner articulates the failures of his highly respected and competitive school:

"We're reading Homer...as though the Odyssey were a cookbook. Two verses an hour and then the whole thing is masticate...more
Esmeralda
The writing is wonderful. The descriptions of a 1900s village, natural environment, and people are outstanding. Hans Giebenrath is a sympathetic protagonist. He is pushed into academia and does not develop emotional ties with people. It is a strange concept that parents, teachers, and clergy all get behind one person and make such demands. It is a bygone culture or asian style. It was a well paced nervous breakdown. The character got in touch with his own needs.

After that he glorifies physical l...more
Abdullah

خمسون صفحة تناول فيه هرمان هسه قصة الطفل الذي سرق قلادة التين المجفف و هرمان هسه كما هو الحال بالنسبة لكنوت هامسون كاتب يسبر أغوار النفس و يجلو ما يعتمل فيها و لولا الحياء لقلت أنه يكاد يرقى لمرتبة علماء النفس . فالطفل الذي سرق دون حاجة لم يعد في وسعه أن ينسى أو يغفر إذ يتمكن منه الخزي و يفضل الموت أو حتى قتل والده كيما يتخلص من عار السرقة و يمضي هرمان بخطوات الخطأ من البهجة ثم تأنيب الضمير مروراً بالريبة و الخوف . ليس ثمة الكثير من الأحداث ، هناك ذهن الطفل المتعب و أفكاره الخجلى و المتهورة على...more
cashman_cool
Took me off guard since I anticipated a standard bildungsroman, but it adds more of a tragic flair to the genre. The book is really compact and paced just right, and it seems a bit more linguistically ornate than some of Hesse's other novels (no diss to Steppenwolf or anything, of course). I guess I was more impressed than I thought (especially with all the early descriptions of Heilner's poetic melancholy and rebelliousness, and damn that ending, damn) since this is one Hesse novel that no one...more
Jerome Peterson
December 27, 2013
Beneath The Wheel
By Hermann Hesse

‘Hans Giebernath lives among the dull and respectable townsfolk of a sleepy Black Forest village. When he is discovered to be an exceptionally gifted student, the entire community presses him onto a path of serious scholarship. Hans dutifully follows the regimen of study and endless examinations, his success rewarded only with more crushing assignments. When Hans befriends a rebellious young poet, he begins to imagine other possibilities outside...more
Isabelle
Unterm Rad seems similar to a The Smiths song; like the latter you will probably only truly enjoy it up to a certain age, before the being tormented by others has evolved into self-torment, and you only dimly remember what life was like when you were 16 and hiding in the school toilets (of course, nostalgia never dies).

As it is, the book has all the classical (foreseeable) elements of a Hesse novel:

1
happy boy is forced to become a cog in the machine of society; e.g. he is sent to school, and sin...more
Patrick Gibson
I am from the ‘sturm und drang’ school of life. I can only read a Hesse novel with Mahler playing in the background. The more angst, the better. Give me irrational anguish, sorrow, torment.
In college, I carried Hesse novels under my arm the way super-Christians carry their Bibles like five day pads. Agony and gloom where never far. And I was of the opinion Hans Giebenrath was my autobiography. Contemporaries were raging against the system screamed copies of ‘Catcher in the Rye,’ while I opted f...more
Emma
Hermann Hesse ist einer meiner Lieblingsautoren, bisher habe ich "Demian" und "Unterm Rad" von ihm gelesen. Mich fasziniert, wie real er schreibt und einen in diese Zeit zurückversetzen kann. Leider verstehe ich nicht alles, z.B. werden manche Sachen kurz angesprochen und dann nie wieder erwähnt. Dann wundert man sich warum es nicht mehr weitergeht.
Eine kurze Zusammenfassung, worum es in dem Buch eigentlich geht:

Hans ist ein ausgezeichneter Schüler und sich dessen auch bewusst. Um das Landexamen...more
Kane S.
One of my favorite Hesse novels, penned in 1906 and drawing heavily on his childhood experiences, is Beneath the Wheel. It concerns a young man in a small German town named Hans Giebenrath who is selected to enter an elite academic seminary. Driven by various members of his small village who want to be uplifted vicariously by his success, he wears himself out worrying and studying when he should be on vacation. He has a breakdown at the academy and is expelled with a nervous condition to immense...more
Erez Davidi
In “Beneath the Wheel”, Hermann Hesse tells the story of Hans Giebenrath, a child who is the shining star of his small village, at least academically speaking. After he succeeds brilliantly in his exams, Giebenrath goes to study in college. There, he meets another brilliant child, who makes him question the education he is obtaining. Through these two children, Hesse critiques the education system (at least in those days). Hesse’s writing is absorbing and the plot is well constructed. Yet, I fel...more
John Harder
Hesse is able to tell a profound story in the most simple manner while using the most simple language – though there always seems to be something unsaid -- rather it is left for the inference of the reader. This manner of prose is particularly appropriate as it can be juxtaposed to the “unnatural” rote learning of German educational system. Our hero, Hans, is a brilliant and sensitive young man, who is pushed through the system. Ultimately Hans recognizes the advantages of the non academic life…...more
Mohamed Karaly
من الكتب اللى بتتناول المراهقة و العلاقة بين الصديقين الذكرين و الخجل المصاحب ليها ، الموضوع اللى بحنّله دايما و ليه تأثير على أعصابى
هايلنر ، صديق هانز، هو اللى حطّمه . لو هانز كان قاوم الرغبة الملحة و التافهة للتقرب لهايلنر فى البداية ، مصيره مكانش هيبقى كده
الرواية مهياش نقد لنظام التربية ، زى ما الكاتب أقنع نفسه و الناس ، قد ماهى لعب مع الخقيقة القاهرة التى لا سبيل لتغييرها ، وهى الحقيقة المتعلقة بإرهاق العلاقات البشرية و هرمونات المراهقة . وده الجزء اللى عبقرية الكاتب كانت متشبثة بيه باستحيا...more
Annie Weeder
Once upon a time, I was in high school in Australia, where I live, and I absolutely god damn hated it. I had teachers literally yelling at me for trying to do my own thing, calling me "less than semi-intelligent" to my face, and telling me I'm going nowhere in life. This wasn't just in high school, either; in preschool my IQ was tested, and, because I was a dumb four year old who couldn't take anything seriously, I made a joke out of it all. "Dogs say meow" and all of that. The teacher then told...more
Sara
أولاً، وقبل البدء بالحديث عن القصة ذاتها.
أودّ أن أشيد بعبقرية المترجم "نامق كامل". إذ أنّ من خصائص الترجمة الناجحة هي إشعار القارئ وكأنه يقرأ النص بلغته الأصلية.
لم أشعر لثانية واحدة أن االنص الذي بين يدي نصاً مترجماً.

ثانياً، (تحت العجلة) هو الإنتاج الثاني لـ "هرمان هسه". وأنصح به كل من يودّ أن يدخل عالم الروايات. حيث تقع الرواية في 195 صفحة ضمن سرد سلس وعالم يمكن تفهّم أبعاده دون صعوبةٍ كبيرة وهو عالم اليافعين (المراهقين)، أو بالأحرى مرحلة اجتياز الطفولة ودخول عتبة المراهقة وما تحويه هذه المرح...more
Fausto
EL PRECIO DEL INCONFORMISMO

“Bajo las ruedas”, una de sus primeras novelas, ya se encuentran las señas de identidad de Hesse, así como algunos de los temas fundamentales que tratará en posteriores títulos con sus acostumbradas referencias autobiográficas. El argumento se divide en tres claros bloques que narran los sucesos, las ilusiones y dilemas de un joven estudiante durante un corto lapso de tiempo: un curso escolar entre dos periodos de vacaciones. El monasterio cisterciense de Maulbronn, un...more
Kkinugawa
Possibly one of the most popular pure literatures in the world. The story is about the depiction of life of a boy who had been expected to be a great person in the future. The story had decipted about the tragedy of the boy thoroughly, and I am sure you can read this as one of the greatest pure literatures in the world. From this point of view,I would like to recommend this book for all readers in the world.
Harish Muralidhar
The future of a child is chosen by all but himself. This is the tale that traces the life of a child through the greenest of pastures to the most abysmal ends of a person's existence. The very education that served as a pedestal and elevated him to the zenith of his society quite effectively pushes him into the gray realm of pressure and expectations (aided by the exact society). The result - death of happiness and a soul washed with dirty water to be left hanging sans wind or sun.

Hesse's though...more
Erik Graff
May 11, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hesse fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
This is only Hesse's second novel and not his best. It is somewhat autobiographical and, like many of the author's novels, is a tale of a young man's disillusionment, rebellion and self-discovery. My notes on the book from the time of reading summarize it as follows: "Raised without a mother and crushed by the ordered, competitive, masculine world's expectations. The destruction of a young spirit."
Víctor Vázquez
I'll be honest - I found it hard to truly enjoy 'The Prodigy'. It hit home a bit too strongly: reading it whilst going through an educational crisis of my own was not exactly uplifting, and at times verging on depressing.

Hesse presents a compelling critique against against the rigidity and uncompromising nature of the education system. He condemns the theft of natural wonder and curiosity by the same and manages to remain relevant a shocking 100 years after his book was first published.

The novel...more
Núria
Dec 22, 2007 Núria rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: empollones que temen no cumplir con las expectativas puestas en ellos
Este libro es tramposo, está lleno de golpes bajos y es asquerosamente sentimental y rastreramente melodramático, pero aún es de los libros de Hesse que puedo soportar. Las tres estrellas se las doy porque yo también fui una empollona solitaria que se encerraba para estudiar y que tenía miedo a decepcionar a todos los que habían puesto demasiadas expectativas en ella.
Parisa
کتاب درباره مشکل بنیادی جوامع مختلف که بجای اهمیت به استعداد و یادگیری صحیح تنها به تحصیلات آکادمیک و طی کردن یه روند ماشینی فکر می کنند و بخاطر همین فشار همه جانبه به روی بچه های خودشون میارند که باعث نابود شدن کودکی و بزرگسالی اونها میشن،که در نهایت منجر به وقوع یه تراژدی میشه
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/lit/ Revival of ...: Beneath the Wheel by Herman Hesse 1 32 May 25, 2012 12:33PM  
  • Der Untertan (Das Kaiserreich, #1)
  • Jugend ohne Gott
  • Draußen vor der Tür
  • Deutschland, ein Wintermärchen
  • Biedermann und die Brandstifter
  • Malina
  • Das siebte Kreuz
  • Kleider machen Leute
  • Der zerbrochne Krug
  • Schloß Gripsholm
  • Heldenplatz
  • Der Richter und sein Henker
  • Der Schimmelreiter
  • Götz von Berlichingen
  • Couples, Passersby
  • Lotte in Weimar: The Beloved Returns
  • Bahnwärter Thiel
  • Fabian. Die Geschichte eines Moralisten
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Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi) which explore an individual's search for spirituality outside society.

In his time, Hesse was a popular and influential author in the German-speaking world; worldwide fame only ca...more
More about Hermann Hesse...
Siddhartha Steppenwolf Demian Narcissus and Goldmund The Glass Bead Game

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“Teachers dread nothing so much as unusual characteristics in precocious boys during the initial stages of their adolescence. A certain streak of genius makes an ominous impression on them, for there exists a deep gulf between genius and the teaching profession. Anyone with a touch of genius seems to his teachers a freak from the very first. As far as teachers are concerned, they define young geniuses as those who are bad, disrespectful, smoke at fourteen, fall in love at fifteen, can be found at sixteen hanging out in bars, read forbidden books, write scandalous essays, occasionally stare down a teacher in class, are marked in the attendance book as rebels, and are budding candidates for room-arrest. A schoolmaster will prefer to have a couple of dumbheads in his class than a single genius, and if you regard it objectively, he is of course right. His task is not to produce extravagant intellects but good Latinists, arithmeticians and sober decent folk. The question of who suffers more acutely at the other's hands - the teacher at the boy's, or vice versa - who is more of a tyrant, more of a tormentor, and who profanes parts of the other's soul, student or teacher, is something you cannot examine without remembering your own youth in anger and shame. yet that s not what concerns us here. We have the consolation that among true geniuses the wounds almost always heal. As their personalities develop, they create their art in spite of school. Once dead, and enveloped by the comfortable nimbus of remoteness, they are paraded by the schoolmasters before other generations of students as showpieces and noble examples. Thus teh struggle between rule and spirit repeats itself year after year from school to school. The authorities go to infinite pains to nip the few profound or more valuable intellects in the bud. And time and again the ones who are detested by their teachers are frequently punished, the runaways and those expelled, are the ones who afterwards add to society's treasure. But some - and who knows how many? - waste away quiet obstinacy and finally go under.” 23 likes
“When a tree is polled, it will sprout new shoots nearer its roots. A soul that is ruined in the bud will frequently return to the springtime of its beginnings and its promise-filled childhood, as though it could discover new hopes there and retie the broken threads of life. The shoots grow rapidly and eagerly, but it is only a sham life that will never be a genuine tree.” 10 likes
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