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Pictor's Metamorphoses and Other Fantasies

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  379 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Selected and with an Introduction by Theodore Ziolkowski.

In the spring of 1922, several months after completing Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse wrote a fairy tale that was also a love story, inspired by the woman who was to become his second wife. That story, Pictor's Metamorphoses, is presented here along with a half century of Hesse's other short writings. Inspired by the Arab
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 1st 2003 by Picador (first published 1922)
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Community Reviews

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Gertrude & Victoria
Inspired and influenced by classical German folktales, Hermann Hesse creates a world of child-like fantasy. Some of these stories borrow directly from these folk classics, which Hesse read much of as a child. Many of these stories are allegorical in nature and not easy to fully understand in one reading. However, each one has a moral of universal appeal to share.

One story that impresses is Hannes; it is a story of two brothers, born from different mothers. The younger leaves home in search of la
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Pamela
Hesse fans will enjoy these short stories, fables, and indeed, fantasies that non-Hesse fans will find either hard to understand or too whimsical to bother trying. The hardcover edition (maybe the paperback too?) includes the original transcript of Pictor's Metamorphoses as penned by Mr. Hesse when he was very young. It also includes some incredible art work created by the author.

I found the first story in the book (which is not the title story) interesting to read but obscure in its meaning. T
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Adam
I was surprisingly non-plussed by most of these stories. Even the titular tale, Pictor's Metamorphoses seemed unremarkable. There are a few great bits in here, however. "Hannes" is the tale of a man who was always thought to be mentally handicapped and is therefore ridiculed to the point that he prefers the company of animals. Thus he retains his capacity to interact directly with the animate earth - not just with the sheep and cows he tends, but with the clouds, the rivers, the rocks. Not to gi ...more
Alex
I was all set to prematurely give this one five stars after I finished "The Man of the Forests," but the later stories get pretty dense. Some just read like entries out of Hesse's journal. There's probably more to unpack than I realized on first read, but this time around, the short fables/parables of the first half made the book for me. Overall, worth the read. Some stories are witty (The Merman), some are poignant (Three Lindens), and most use really simple but vibrant imagery. The first one's ...more
Jason O'brien
I have really enjoyed some of Hesse’s novels, which lead me to “Pictor’s Metamorphoses and Other Fantasies”, although I am not big on short stories. Hesse’s style shines through each of the stories here but some pieces like “Lulu” are a bit arduous and may require a second reading.

Two of the nineteen stories in this collection left an indelible impression on me. “Bird” a story of a magical bird unique to a small town, and the challenges the townsfolk face when a bounty is placed on its head. And
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Carlos Burga
This collection of incredible honest stories allow the reader to enter Hesse’s mind with such ease and depth that s/he will be surprised at the seminaries found between what is there and what is in the reader’s own mind, yet again emphasizing the ageless nature of Hesse’s ability to tell those stories that lurk in the world’s subconscious mind.
Adriana
Livro que contem as ilustrações e o conto Transformações, vários poemas e um posfácio que conta parte da vida de Hesse, incluindo trechos de cartas, inclusive uma em que o próprio Hesse atesta a genialidade do Sr. Jung com quem ele se consultava bastante em tempos de escrever o Sidartha e esse conto dual sobre Piktor.
Nathan Brown
Every time I read one of Hesse's works, it is a profound experience. Seriously, every single work of Hesse I have ever read has been either a spiritual awakening or a psyche shattering eye opener. I love the man, for his writings if for nothing else.
Cooper Renner
Some of Hesse's novels are really fine, so I was fairly disappointed in this collection of mostly short works of fantasy or fairy tale. "King Yu", a kind of variation on "Boy who Cried Wolf", and "Bird"--both late works--are quite good, however.
Nathan
Its really interesting that after all his searching he finally comes to some of these answers. Its like watching the King Hobbit and the Creator of Caspian converse with one another. Its a new look for one of my favorites.
TeacherMrLoria
For a better bang for your buck, go with the Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse. It features many more stories. This features a few good ones with typical Hesse themes.
David Melbie
Dec 12, 2010 David Melbie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to David by: Joseph Campbell
Another author that was recommended to me by Joseph Campbell. Hesse is a wonderful storyteller. If you have never read Hesse you could start here.
Vusal Tagiyev
that was kind of a fable
Bandi
Peter kamenzind .. is how i remember this book
Siddhartha immersed in art and country side paradise is kamenzind
Betty
Piktor's Metamorphoses is a fairy tale written an illustrated by Herman Hesse. It's the sweetest story ever.
Richard Crookes
Fabulous in the true sense of the word. A book I return to again and again for refreshment.
Don Gubler
Uneven collection but some gems of historical Hesse.
Shardh Shah
thought provoking and full of satire.
Randall
Some great. Some not so much.
Brandy
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Jönathan marked it as to-read
Nov 16, 2014
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Miguel added it
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Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi) which explore an individual's search for spirituality outside society.

In his time, Hesse was a popular and influential author in the German-speaking world; worldwide fame only ca
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More about Hermann Hesse...
Siddhartha Steppenwolf Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend Narcissus and Goldmund The Glass Bead Game

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