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Hermann Hesse.

 

It is remarkable, all that men can swallow. For a good ten minutes I read a newspaper. I allowed the spirit of an irresponsible man who chews and munches another’s words in his mouth, and gives them out again undigested, to enter into me through the eyes. I absorbed the whole column of it. And then I devoured a large piece cut from the liver of a slaughtered calf. Odd indeed! The best was the Elsasser. I am not fond, for everyday at least, of racy, heady wines that diffuse a potent charm and have their own particular flavor. What I like the best is a clean, light, modest country vintage of no special name. One can carry plenty of it and it has the good and homely flavor of the land, and of the earth and sky and woods. A pint of Elsasser and a piece of good bread is the best of all meals. By this time, however, I had already eaten my portion of liver, an unusual indulgence for me, as I seldom eat meat, and the second pint had been set before me. And this too was odd: that somewhere in a green valley vines were tended by good, strong fellows and the wine pressed so that here and there in the world, far away, a few disappointed quietly drinking townsfolk and dispirited Steppenwolves could sip a little heart and courage from their glasses.

Steppenwolf.

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