Narcissus and Goldmund: A Novel (Paperback)

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Narcissus and Goldmund: A Novel Cover Image
By Hermann Hesse, Ursule Molinaro (Translated by)
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(CLASSIC LITERATURE)

Staff Reviews


Herman Hesse is in our Classics sections for a reason. He was a German man that was deeply affected by the spiritual thought process of Eastern culture, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946, and wrote novels, stories, and essays that continue to grab the imaginations of readers 55 years after his death.

‘Narcissus & Goldmund’ takes place in Medieval Germany and centers around two young men that are fundamentally different. Yet despite their differences, they form an everlasting friendship. Narcissus is a brilliant, young teacher at a cloister school, pursuing his scholarly and religious goals of becoming an abbot. He becomes rather fond of a student a few years younger than himself, Goldmund, a naturally bright dreamer. Goldmund reciprocates Narcissus’ fondness and really admires him and his brilliance.

While out gathering herbs in a field, Goldmund meets a beautiful Gypsy woman who invites him to make love. That is the moment Goldmund realizes he is not meant for the monk lifestyle, even if it means leaving the monastery and his best friend. With Narcissus’ blessing, Goldmund sets out on an adventure to nowhere, hoping to find the meaning of his life.

As the book continues, Goldmund meets many attractive women, sees the best in humanity through his love of art and sculpting, and witnesses the worst in human existence as the Black Death destroys town after town. Throughout all his travelling, all his trials, all his lessons and lovers, Goldmund never forgets about his best friend Narcissus. As he goes older, he wonders if he will ever see Narcissus again, or if Narcissus was even alive.

The themes of this book revolve around the differences between mind and body, logic versus art, the scholar and the wanderer. I love this book because it shows that friendship can withstand anything.

— From Devin

Description


Hermann Hesse's Narcissus and Goldmund is the story of a passionate yet uneasy friendship between two men of opposite character. Narcissus, an ascetic instructor at a cloister school, has devoted himself solely to scholarly and spiritual pursuits. One of his students is the sensual, restless Goldmund, who is immediately drawn to his teacher's fierce intellect and sense of discipline. When Narcissus persuades the young student that he is not meant for a life of self-denial, Goldmund sets off in pursuit of aesthetic and physical pleasures, a path that leads him to a final, unexpected reunion with Narcissus.

About the Author


Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) was a German poet and novelist. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962. He was the author of works including Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and Demian.

Praise For…


“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

Product Details
ISBN: 9780312421670
ISBN-10: 0312421672
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: February 1st, 2003
Pages: 320
Language: English
 

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