Narziss and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse ; translated by Geoffrey Dunlop
Narziss and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse ; translated by Geoffrey Dunlop
Narziss and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse ; translated by Geoffrey Dunlop

Narziss and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse ; translated by Geoffrey Dunlop

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London : Peter Owen, 1965. Third impression. Hardcover. 287 pages ; 19 cm. $25 schilling dust jacket. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.

Since its original German publication, this novel has been regarded as one of Hesse's important works; it is the story of Goldmund's journey into life and his search for its meaning. The sensual and artistic satisfactions of Goldmund are in contrast to the spiritual peace of the monk, Narziss, who helps him in his search for self-realization. The setting of the book is medieval Germany, and the basic theme is the significance of the mother in human destiny.

As in his other major works, however remote and exotic the background, Hesse combines the verbal mastery of Flaubert, the psychological insight of D. H. Lawrence, and the intellectual sophistication of Thomas Mann.

HERMANN HESSE was born at Calw, Germany, on July 2nd, 1877. Having begun his career as a bookseller in Tubingen and Basle, he started to write and to publish poetry at the age of 21. Five years later he enjoyed his first major success with his novels on youth and educational problems: first Peter Camenzind, then Unterm Rad (The Prodigy), followed by Gertrud, Rosshalde, Demian and others. Later, when as a protest against German militarism in the First World War he settled permanently in Switzerland, he established himself as one of the greatest literary figures of the German-speaking world. His deep humanity, his searching philosophy developed further in such novels as Der Steppenwolf and Narziss und Goldmund. At the same time, his poems and critical writings won him a leading place among contemporary thinkers. The Nazis abhorred and suppressed his books: the Swiss honoured him by conferring on him the degree of Ph.D.; the world, finally, by bestowing upon him in 1946 the Nobel Prize for Literature, an award richly deserved by his great novel Das Glasperlenspiel (Magister Ludi). Hermann Hesse died in 1962, shortly after his 85th birthday.

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