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Narcissus and Goldmund

Author: Hermann Hesse   Series: Penguin Modern Classics

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

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Paperback

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Summary

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

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Description

'One of his masterpieces . . . without doubt a great novel' Guardian 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.

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Critic 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.”

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

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About the Author

Hermann Hesse was born in Calw, Germany, in 1877. After a short period at a seminary he moved to Switzerland to work as a bookseller. During the First World War he worked for the Red Cross. His later novels - most importantly Siddhartha (1922), Steppenwolf (1927), Narcissus und Goldmund (1930) and The Glass Bead Game (1943) - and his poems and critical essays established him as one of the towering literary figures of the German-speaking world. He won many literary awards including the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. Hermann Hesse died in 1962.

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Back Cover

'Full of secrets, life stared at him, a murky, unfathomable world, an impenetrable, thorny forest full of fabulous perils' Two men become friends in a medieval monastery: Narcissus, dark and serious, and Goldmund: sunny, childlike and reckless. When Goldmund realizes he is not meant for a life of self-denial, he sets off on the road in search of experience, becoming entangled in the extremes of a world dominated by sin, plague and war - until, many years later, he encounters Narcissus one final time. Bringing to life the Middle Ages in all their beauty and horror, Hesse's profound masterpiece of the imagination explores friendship, love, death, fate and the true meaning of freedom. 'A poetic novel unique in its fascination' Thomas Mann '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' The New York Times Book Review 'One of his masterpieces ... a great novel' Observer

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Product Details

Publisher
Penguin Books Ltd | Penguin Classics
Published
6th April 2017
Pages
320
ISBN
9780141984612
$20.17
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