Last night, I finished my first Herman Hesse novel, Narcissus and Goldmund. A friend gave me this over Christmas; I may or may not be a slow reader.
Lay off me.
It was amazing. Not an easy read for me. It’s more detail oriented than plot focused, which means it had to win me over. Despite the book’s slow start, Narcissus and Goldmund is a beautiful tale worth every bit of your time.
Instead of a full review you probably won’t read, I’ll just share my favorite passage. If you feel interested in reading it, just google the book and you’ll find the synopsis.
For those needing to be sold, here you go: It has tons of sex! Also, death, traveling, and philosophical discussion regarding the difference between artists and thinkers.
My favorite passage (kind of grim, but beautiful still):
Perhaps, he thought, the root of all art, and perhaps also of all intellectual activity, is the fear of death. We fear it, we shudder at the ephemeral nature of all things, we grieve to see the constant cycle of fading flowers and falling leaves and are aware in our own hearts of the certainty that we too are ephemeral and will fade away.
So when as artists we create images, and as thinkers we search for laws and formulate ideas, we do so in order to salvage something from the great Dance of Death, to create something that will outlast our lifetime.
That’s all for today folks. Are there any fans of this book out there? I’m still processing it, and would love to hear other thoughts regarding its themes.
Have a great weekend everybody!
You’ll love Hesse’s other books as well.
Thanks! I currently have “Siddhartha” on deck. Excited to start it.
“Siddhartha” is, I think, my favorite. I keep going back to it. It was also made into a movie several years back.
Would like to know how you’d react to this.
Keep comments brief on defendyourpost. Unless we can get him to engage there.
He’s responding SELECTIVELY on his own site.