【Book Summary】 Hermann Hesse – Unterm Rad / ヘルマン ヘッセ (著), 高橋 健二 (翻訳) – 車輪の下

“Unterm Rad” is a 1906 novel written by Hermann Hesse. The novel, which was reissued as “The Prodigy” in 1957, critically examines an education system that focuses solely on students’ academic performance. The story revolves around Hans Giebenrath, a gifted boy who is sent to a seminary in Maulbronn. His education is entirely focused on increasing his knowledge, neglecting personal development. His close friendship with Hermann Heilner, a more liberal fellow student, provides some comfort. However, when Heilner is expelled and Hans’ academic performance declines along with the onset of symptoms of mental illness, Hans is sent home. Back home, he struggles to cope with his situation, having lost most of his childhood to academic study and thus never forming lasting personal relationships with anyone in his village. Despite finding some satisfaction in his work as a mechanic, Hans never fully adjusts to his new situation and tragically drowns in a river.



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