Hermann Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf (1927) tells the story of Harry Haller, a misanthropic “wolf of the steppes” who sees himself as possessing both the souls of a human and a wolf. One night, as Haller is prowling the streets of the town, he sees a door on an old stone wall with the inscription:
ENTRANCE NOT FOR EVERYBODY (Hesse 2001: 41)
The Magische Theater is the place where Haller eventually faces himself and comes to terms with his inner turmoil.
The following extract is from the Magische Theater section of the novel Steppenwolf, whereby Haller comes across a door with the inscription:
GUIDANCE IN THE BUILDING-UP OF THE PERSONALITY.
SUCCESS GUARANTEED (Hesse 2001: 222)
This is where a chess player gives Haller a lesson in developing his personality, as he tells him:
“… the playwright shapes a drama from a handful of characters, so do we from the pieces of the disintegrated self build up ever new groups, with ever new interplay and suspense, and new situations that are eternally inexhaustible.” (Hesse 2001: 224)
Hesse, Hermann (2001): Steppenwolf. Translated from the German by Basil Creighton. Revised by Walter Sorell. London: Penguin Classics, 221-225