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Narcissus and Goldmund Hermann Hesse(Author)

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Book Narcissus and Goldmund

Narcissus and Goldmund

Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Narcissus and Goldmund.pdf


Original name book: Narcissus and Goldmund

Pages: 304

Language: English

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New Ed Edition; New Ed edition (June 28, 1990)

By: Hermann Hesse(Author)

Book details

Format *An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose. *Report a Broken Link

Required Software Any PDF Reader, Apple Preview
Supported Devices Windows PC/PocketPC, Mac OS, Linux OS, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch.
# of Devices Unlimited
Flowing Text / Pages Pages
Printable? Yes

Category - Literature & Fiction

Bestsellers rank - 6 Rating Star

Also published as Death and the Lover, this new edition features a foreword from the musician and artist Graham Coxon

Narcissus is a teacher at Mariabronn, a monastery in medieval Germany, and Goldmund his favorite 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 a 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.

Hermann Hesse (1877–1962) was a poet, novelist, and painter whose best-known works include Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and The Glass Bead Game, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Customer Reviews
  • By W Perry Hall on January 18, 2016

    Published in 1930, this is Herman Hesse's brilliant story of two friends in medieval Germany. Largely metaphorical, this has the feel of a cautionary fairy tale with no true compass as to geography or time. The story begins when Goldmund, a student, and Narcissus, a teacher only a few years older, become friends at a cloister school. At first, Goldmund earnestly focuses on his studies, but then a few fellow students invite him to go off campus, where he's seduced by a young Gypsy girl. From that day forward, his mind never wanders far from thoughts of women, their sheer beauty and the pleasures of the senses.He leaves and on his journeys he has numerous affairs with women of all ages, statuses and sizes (similar to Wilt Chamberlain in legion and legend). All women find him irresistible. He falls for the first young lady to say no, loses her to the serpent of lust for her younger, prettier sister, and then travels far and wide. He settles to become a sculptor for several years, able to brilliantly capture the beauty he has seen. He becomes restless, continues his travels and runs into the unmitigated ugliness of the Black Plague. There's much more, but I'll add no more so I don't spoil the story, except to say that when both he and Narcissus, now an abbot, are much older, they visit and converse at length with each other.The novel provides perhaps the most vivid contrast I've read between art, the beauty of the skin and sensual pleasures, on the one hand, and beauty of the spirit, stability, thinking and structure on the other.

  • By LW on July 25, 2016

    Interesting little tale. I have read it several times over the years. The writing is smooth and the story line keeps you in suspense. It's a good book to read aloud to someone. I call it a tale because the setting and story are not realistic but the writing is so good, the words just seem to flow and you enjoy reading it. I liked the spiritual dimension to it but wish the ending packed more of a punch.

  • By Joe Da Rold on September 13, 2017

    Coming eight years after Siddartha, there are striking similarities between the two works: a young man intent on following a spiritual path embarks instead on a life of hedonism. Despite the highly charged attraction between Brother Narcissus and his student Goldmund, the former leads an austere life, while the latter’s life is one of rampant sexuality. As with most of Hesse, this is a tale of self-discovery. Brother Narcissus eventually takes his vows and becomes abbot of the cloister. Goldmund is revealed to be a skilled artist, but his talent is overwhelmed by his need to explore the ways of the flesh. In fact, he beds so many women, one could reasonably envision this as an outline for a modern porn movie. The picaresque nature of the novel is balanced by chapters of philosophical discussion, occurring, as with Siddartha, as the two men meet again late in life. Hesse gives us two memorable characters. As with Demian, the prose is dense. Myself, I prefer the spare prose style of Siddartha.

  • By David on August 3, 2011

    I read German, and recently began reading it in the native language (slowly, been a while since I used German) and found the tone of the writing was quite different than I experienced in the English reading.I found a translation by Geoffrey Dunlop (originally printed as Death and the Lover (transl. by Geoffrey Dunlop, 1932)). It was interesting and different (a very free translation) but in somewhat dated English.Then I discovered this translation by Leila Vennewitz and it has become my favorite. I have just finished reading it for the second time and it has been a total joy, like reading it for the first time, and now the slightly annoying "tone" is not present in this translation. Curious, I went back and began a word-for-work comparison of the translations, and I find they are not even close enough to compare. The Molinaro actually follows the German text much more closely, Vennewitz's approach is freer, she seems to read the passage (paragraphs) and then writes the equivalent in English as translations. It is much freer, she is not so constrained to have a sentences match sentence per sentence, he even moves parts of a sentence to the next paragraph, but she organized the thought/descriptions in a very convincing way.

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