Corridors and stairs were filled to overflowing with masks and dancing and music and laughter and tumult. Oppressed in heart I stole through the throng, from the Negro orchestra to the peasant band,...
Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf, Bantam Books Edition, New York, 1969, p. 185.
CIRCMSTANCE: Harry is attending a party in which everyone is dressed in costumes. He is "oppressed in heart" because Hermine has not shown herself to him.
We had scarcely cooled down when we heard the hoarse imperious horn of a big luxury car from the next bend in the road. It came putting at top speed up the smooth road.
Its engine was still running and the wheels turned absurdly in the air; but suddenly with a frightful explosion it burst into flames.
Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf, Bantam Books Edition, New York, 1969, p. 208, 209.
And in fact, to my indescribable astonishment and horror, the devilish tin trumpet spat out, without more ado, a mixture of bronchial slime and chewed rubber; that noise that owners of gramophones and radios have agreed to call music. And behind the slime and the croaking there was, sure enough, like and old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. I could distinguish the majestic structure and the deep wide breath and the full broad bowing of the strings.
Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf, Bantam Books Edition, New York, 1969, p. 241.
It takes hold of some music played where you please, without distinction, stupid and coarse, lamentably distorted, to boot, and chucks it into space to land where it has no business to be; and yet after all this it cannot destroy the original spirit of the music; it can only demonstrate its own senseless mechanism,.... And now you hear not only a Handel who, disfigured by radio, is, all the same in this most ghastly of disguises still divine;... When you listen to radio you are a witness of the everlasting war between idea and appearance, between time and eternity, between the human and the divine. ....projects the most lovely music without regard into the most impossible places, into guzzling, yawing and sleeping listeners, and exactly as it strips this music of its sensuous beauty, spoils and scratches and beslimes it and yet cannot altogether destroy its spirit....
Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf, Bantam Books Edition, New York, 1969, p. 242, 243.