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Demian (Perennial Classics) Paperback – September 8, 2009
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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""Hesse is a writer whose peculiar vision is worth inspecting. His world is shadowy and close to areas of the heart that will probably never see light. But his vision is a rare one, as commendable for its humane solicitude as for its strangeness and unearthly color."-- "National Review"
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
Top customer reviews
For those wondering why so many of the reviews mention "BTS," it is because they are a group who released music videos/songs inspired by Demian, which influenced many of the fans to read the book. I'm so happy to have read it. It is such a wonderful journey.
The one weak part of the book for me are the meetings of Sinclair and Pistorius (I think of him as an ego figure). I just find this friendship rather tedious to read about; it kind of sinks the book in the middle, but as Sinclair moves on, the book's power returns.
There was a great controversy among Jung and his fellow analyst friends as to whether the book could be considered plagarism. Many thought in the affirmative and there was quite an uproar and a lot of anger about this in Zurich. However, as a Dutch Jungian analyst commented at a lecture at the Jung Institute in Los Angeles, "You have to consider the element of inspiration - that can't be plagarized. It can only arise from deep within the author." And so it did! So that was considered to be the other side of the story.
In the book, Max Demian, a rather elusive friend of Sinclair's, who also acts as his protector and guide, is symbolic of the self. His mother, another numinous figure, is symbolic of the anima of Sinclair (the female archetype within the male psyche). And at the book's end we come to find that Max Demian lives inside Sinclair, and will do so eternally.
Without reading at least a primer on the psychology of Carl Gustav Jung, this book is not fully understandable. Jung's findings are its origin, its foundation and its motif. It took a genius like Hermann Hesse to turn them into art.
One paragraph is often quoted from the book: "I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?"