Narcissus and Goldmund

Narcissus is a teacher at Mariabronn, a monastery in medieval Germany, and Goldmund his favourite pupil. While Narcissus remains detached from the world in prayer and meditation, Goldmund runs away from the monastery in pursuit of love. Thereafter he lives an&g picaresque wanderer s life, his amatory adventures resulting in pain as well as ecstasy. His eventual reunion with Narcissus brings into focus the diversity between artist and thinker, Dionysian and Apollonian. This new edition features a forward from the musician and artist Graham Coxon: ‘The clean simplicity of Hesse’s writing offers a vast space in which to push your weightless mind, and, although you can see the universe between the lines, he never forces you to venture too deeply but rather leaves it entirely up to you as to how far in you might like to travel. This is not just a story. This book is a gentle arm around the shoulder.’

Reviews

A novel that dramatises Nietzsche’s conception of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. At the medieval monastery of Mariabronn, the restless Goldmund realises he isn’t cut out for a cloistered life under the tutelage of his friend and mentor, the ascetic Narziss, and so begins a series of travels that see him work his way through most of the seven deadly sins before finding a psychic resolution of sorts in an apprenticeship to a master sculptor. Only by feeding his appetite for worldly experience does Goldmund finally find the courage to face death. –The Guardian 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read

His greatest novel –New York Times

One of his masterpieces . . . without doubt a great novel –Observer

His greatest novel –New York Times

One of his masterpieces . . . without doubt a great novel –Observer

His greatest novel –New York Times

One of his masterpieces . . . without doubt a great novel –Observer

About the Author

Counted among the leading thinkers of the twentieth century, HERMANN HESSE was born in 1877. Rebelling against a stern monastic education, he worked as a locksmith and a bookseller before embarking on a 65-year writing career. Having travelled as far as India, he settled in Switzerland in 1911 in opposition to German militarism. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1946, he died in 1963 aged eighty-five.

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