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(05/11/2008) Demian by Hermann Hesse. London. 1958. Peter Owen/Vision Press. Translated From The German By W. J. Strachan. keywords: Literature Translated Germany. 184 pages. Jacket design by Eric Patton.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   DEMIAN is one of Hermann Hesse's more important works, and combines narrative with allegory. The novel traces the development of Emil Sinclair's personality from early childhood into late adolescence. In Max Demian he finds a friend who even in childhood draws him away from a normal home life and teaches him to accept the existence of an alternative world of corruption. Sinclair's search for fulfillment culminates in his meeting with Demian's mother, Frau Eva, who is the symbol of the eternal mother. The conception of the book is related to Hesse's self-analysis which is evident in the characterization.

HERMANN HESSE was born at Calw, Germany, July 2, 1877. He started life as a bookseller at Tubingen and Basle, and began to publish poetry at the age of 21. Five years later he had his first great success with his novels on youth and educational problems: first PETER CAMENZIND, then UNTERM RAD, followed by SIDDHARTHA, ROSSHALDE, DEMIAN, and others. All of them sold by the hundred-thousand; and when, as a protest against German militarism in the First World War, he settled permanently in Switzerland, he was established as one of the greatest literary figures of the German-speaking world. His deep humanity, his searching philosophy developed further in such novels as DER STEPPENWOLF and NARZISS UND GOLDMUND, while his poems and critical writings won him a leading place among contemporary thinkers. The Nazis abhorred and suppressed his books; the Swiss honoured him by conferring on him the degree of Ph. D. ; the world finally, by bestowing upon him in 1946 the Nobel Prize for Literature, an award richly deserved by his great novel MAGISTER LUDI.

 

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