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Demian (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – December 18, 2000
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100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
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"Hesse is not a traditional teller of tales but a novelist of ideas and a moralist of a high order...The autobiographical undercurrent gives Damian an Existentialist intensity and a depth of understanding that are rare in contemporary fiction." -- Saturday Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel presents one of the finest depictions to be found in all of literature of a certain sort of conflict: the struggle between the individual, whose spiritual growth posits him as an Outsider to bourgeois society (Demian describes these as having "the mark of Cain"), and the herd, the common run of humanity who seek not growth but unreflective contentment.Read more ›
As a prepubescent boy, Sinclair recognizes the realm of good and light, symbolized by his God fearing parents and innocent younger sisters, as separate from the realm of evil and dark, symbolized by Franz Kromer, an older, opportunist who extorts Sinclair into fibbing and petty thievery. Another older boy, Demian, rescues Sinclair from Kromer's clutches, and then sows a new perception of the light and dark realms with an inverted interpretation of the parable of Cain and Abel. Demian perceives the mark on Cain's forehead not as a curse, but as a badge of courage, character and power.
Tainted by his experience with Kromer, Sinclair cannot entirely reject Demian's heroic characterization of Cain, and Demian nurtures this upset of clarity, muddling Sinclair's once clear distinction between the realms of good and evil. Demian then plants the alternative perception that the individual must delve into the self to discover his peculiar fate and destiny, a unique purpose apart from the mundane consensus, the mores of the hoard. Hesse then projects Sinclair's turmoil into a characterization of, or perhaps a reflection of, the mass psyche of prewar Europe.
I first read "Demian" forty years ago, shortly after years of total immersion in university studies. Then younger and perhaps arrogant with intelligence, I felt armed and charged for the uncertain challenges ahead.
For some reason I saved "Demian," packed it away along with my complete set of Ayn Rand's novels, trig tables and "100 Master Games of Modern Chess.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hopefully this book blows your mind like it did with me. Seeing the world through the lens of Demian really changes how I think about other people, myself, and connection in... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert Beiser
http://epilepticjourney.blogspot.com.es/search?updated-min=2015-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2016-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=7Published 2 months ago by Johnsson JAN
I read it as a teen and I just wanted to read it again. Wonderful book. Just for men thoughPublished 2 months ago by isaac camacho
I have not read Demian since I was in high school over forty years ago and decided to read it once again. A wonderful book which now has me on a quest to re read (? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joseph J. Carey Jr.
A very important book for any Western intellectual looking to question why they behave and function as they do.Published 3 months ago by Trevor Fraser
Really enjoyed this coming of age tale--the coming of age of ones soul. A book ahead of its time, in my opinion. Highly recommended.Published 6 months ago by Manic The Doodler