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Hermann Hesse

Narcissus and Goldmund

(German title: Narziß und Goldmund)
ca. 465 pages
Paperback
1930
Hermann Hesse
Foto: Hermann Hesse
© Gret Widmann

Hermann Hesse, born in Calw/Württemberg in 1877, died in Montagnola near Lugano, Italy, in August 1962. After an apprenticeship to become a bookseller, he began to work as a freelance author in 1904. In 1946, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and 1955 the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (Peace Prize of the German Book Trade). He is one of the most famous German authors of the 20th century.

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Translated into more than 30 languages, Narcissus and Goldmund has been adapted as a motion picture directed by Oscar-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky. The film will be released in Germany on March 12, 2020.

 

 

About

Two primal principes, inextricably linked: The novice Narcissus, the »wunderkind«, a thinker and ascetic devoted to scholarly and spiritual pursuits, befriends the young student Goldmund at the medieval monastery and cloister school of Mariabronn. Goldmund is the opposite to Narcissus: handsome, admired by girls, a charming dreamer, driven by passion and a feeling of guilt. When Goldmund decides to imitate his friend and role model and to become a monk, Narcissus encourages him to leave the monastery in order to find himself. On the restless, adventurous wanderings »from village to village« and »from woman to woman«, Goldmund not only experiences freedom and love, he also realises the abysses of his soul and finds his true calling: becoming an artist. But eventually, his path is going to take him back to the monastery.

Praise

»A poetic novel unique in its fascination.« Thomas Mann

»Hesse was a great writer in precisely the modern sense: complex, subtle, allusive; alive to the importance of play, to the desperate yet frolicsome game of writing. […] Narcissus and Goldmund is his very best. […] What makes this short book so limitlessly vast is the body-and-soul-shaking debate that runs through it, which it has the honesty and courage not to resolve: between the flesh and spirit, art and scientific or religious speculation, action and contemplation, between the wayfaring and the sedentary in us.« The New York Times Book Review

»One of the most profound and magical novels published in our age.« Kirkus Reviews

Other publications

Magie der Farben/The Magic of Colours (2019)

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»Ich bin ein Mensch des Werdens und der Wandlungen«/»I’m a person of becoming and of change« (2016)

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»Eine Bresche ins Dunkel der Zeit!«/»A breach into the darkness of time!« (2015)

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Bäume/Trees (2014)

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»Aus dem Traurigen etwas Schönes machen«/»To make something beautiful out of the sad« (2013)

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»Ich gehorche nicht und werde nicht gehorchen!«/»I am not and will not be obedient!« (2012)

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Schmetterlinge/Butterflies (2011)

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Das Glasperlenspiel/The Glass Bead Game (1943)

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Siddhartha/Siddhartha (1922)

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Knulp/Knulp (1915)

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Roßhalde/Rosshalde (1914)

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Gertrud/Gertrude (1910)

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Unterm Rad/Beneath the Wheel (1906)

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Peter Camenzind/Peter Camenzind (1904)

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