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  • Published: 19 June 2017
  • ISBN: 9780141984612
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $19.99

Narcissus and Goldmund



A gripping, vivid novel which brings to life Europe in the Middle Ages, in all its beauty and horror

One of Hermann Hesse's greatest novels, Narcissus and Goldmund is an extraordinary recreation of the Middle Ages, contrasting the careers of two friends, one of whom shuns life in a monastery and goes on the road, tangled in the extremes of life in a world dominated by sin, plague and war, the other staying in the monastery and struggling, with equal difficulty, to lead a life of spiritual denial.

An superb feat of imagination, Narcissus and Goldmund can only be compared to such films set in medieval Europe as Bergman's The Seventh Seal and Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev. It is a gripping, profound reading experience - as startling, in its different way, as Hesse's Siddhartha and Steppenwolf.

  • Published: 19 June 2017
  • ISBN: 9780141984612
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse was born in Calw, Württemberg, in 1877. He intended to follow in his father's footsteps as a Protestant pastor and missionary, but rebelled against traditional academic education and instead worked for a while as a bookseller, antique dealer and mechanic. After his first novel Peter Camenzind was published in 1904, he devoted himself to writing. In 1919, as a protest against German militarism in the First World War, Hesse moved back to Switzerland where he lived in self-imposed exile until his death at the age of eighty-five in 1962.

Hesse was strongly influenced by his interest in music, the psychoanalytic theories of Jung and Eastern thought. His early novels were traditional, but with the publication in 1919 of Demian, a Freudian study of adolescence with Nietzschean emphasis on the superior individual, he became an 'uninhibited innovator.' Each of his later novels, including Steppenwolf, Siddhartha and Narcissus and Goldmund, was a step in Hesse's determined search for the self. The Glass Bead Game (Das Glasperlenspiel [Magister Ludi]) was his last and consummate work.

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