Hesse’s novel of two medieval men, one quietly content with his religion and monastic life, the other in fervent search of more worldly salvation. Goldmund, a novice, enters the monastery. Like Narcissus, Goldmund is very beautiful. Goldmund’s horse stays in the monastery. His only. ‘Narziss and Goldmund’ is a moving, symbolic novel of friendship between a cerebral teacher who becomes a monk (Narziss) and a restless.
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Hesse’s novel of two medieval men, one quietly content with his religion and monastic life, the other in fervent search of more worldly salvation. This conflict between flesh and spirit, between emotional and contemplative man, was a life study for Hesse.
It is a theme that transcends all time. The Hesse Phenomenon “has turned into a vogue, the vogue into a torrent.
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Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Published inthis is Herman Hesse’s brilliant story of two friends in medieval Germany. Largely glldmund, 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 abd 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 golcmund younger, prettier sister, and then travels far and wide. He hermnn 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 narciwsus 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. Coming eight years after Siddartha, there are striking similarities between the two works: As with most of Hesse, this is a tale of self-discovery. Goldmuhd 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 godlmund 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. Robin Friedman Top Contributor: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase.
Narcissus and Goldmund
This past Fourth Of July, I tried to think of an American book which expressed something of our country in a fresh way. A wonderfully kind and intelligent friend praised the choice anf suggested parallels between Kerouac’s book and my narcissys of it and Herman Hesse’s novel, “Narcissus and Goldmund”. Since reading Hesse anc my college years of fifty years ago I have tended to avoid him with the exception of rereading “Steppenwolf”.
Hesse reminded me too much of the turbulence of the s, when he became popular with Hesae readers and narcissks the influence of hrsse years which remain with us, mostly for the worse in my view. Still, my friend’s reminding me of “Narcissus and Goldmund” struck a nerve and I wanted to revisit the book.
The sins of American counterculture are not to be laid at the door of Hesse. I remembered little beyond the bare outlines of “Narcissus and Goldmund” from my reading of years ago. The book indeed has its similarities to “On The Road” in that it tells the story of two friends with markedly different outlooks on life, portrays the life of wandering from place to place with one protagonist but not bothand deals with dualities and with searches for the meaning of one’s life.
Heermann themes have a strong appeal to students and young people. They tend to be covered up and rejected as people get older and settled into ways of living and earning a living. I think that is in some ways necessary but it also is a pity. People still have to deal with themselves even if the exigences of the day sometimes make them feel, unjustifiably, that they have resolved youthful questions by settled living. Hesse’s novel is set in medieval Europe in the midth century and tells the story of the friendship of its two title characters.
Narcissus is a young highly intellectual person which a disciplined mind and a degree of intellectual arrogance. He teaches Narcidsus and grammar in the cloister and in later years becomes the Abbot. He befriends the slightly younger Goldmund who is abruptly left at the cloister by his father.
Goldmund has an artistic, sensual and sexual nature, far removed from the analytical mind of his friend. The story of the book takes place over many years and opens and closes in the cloister.
NARCISSUS AND GOLDMUND by Hermann Hesse | Kirkus Reviews
The book also includes scenes of Goldmund wandering for years on the road as a wastrel and meeting danger, sex, and the gruesome reality of the Black Death.
Goldmund also lives for some years in a large medieval city and learns the skills to be a sculptor and artist. The book contrasts the life of the mind with the life of the flesh.
The characters are types in this book but also come alive as individuals. The two friends have many discussions about mind and heart and live out their different natures in the course of the book. The dualities are more sharply drawn than would be the case in the lives of most individuals, but that fact does not lessen the value of recognizing and understanding them. Many readers will find strong echoes of Jung, Freud and Nietzsche in the pages of this novel. The strongest influence remains that of Plato.
It is a Plato of reason and the mind but a Plato fully aware of the power of art and the senses. Late in the book, Narcissus says to his friend: He knows that reason and its tool, logic, are incomplete — the way an intelligent artist knows full well that his brushes or chisels will never be able to express perfectly the radiant nature of an angel or a saint.
Still they both try, the thinker as well as the artist, each in his own way. They cannot and may not do otherwise. That’s why, in former days, I often said to you: There is much to be loved in the book and much contemporary American readers may relearn about sexuality and male-female relationships. I was glad to have the opportunity to read “Narcissus and Goldmund” again after a lifetime and to reflect again about broad questions of philosophy and art which can be buried sometimes but which never go away.
One person found this helpful.
Anrcissus have read it several times over the years. Voldmund 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. See all reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway.