Roger DeBlanck's Reviews > Narcissus and Goldmund

Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse
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Jan 27, 12


Like all of Hesse’s now classic novels, Narcissus and Goldmund investigates the inner-voice. Through the competing souls of the two title characters, a teacher and a student, Narcissus and Goldmund respectively, Hesse shows how the voice within takes control and guides an individual. As much a story of the destiny of two men, the novel presents the idea that humans are capable of awakening to instincts that guide them towards fulfilling more than they ever imagined. The courage and discipline to follow the compulsion of one’s instincts demands faith in the ultimate balance of forces in nature. These forces possess a spirit inseparable from the depths of the inner-self. How do we learn to trust? What is happiness but the pursuit of what feels right, gives joy and repose, and places order beyond the flesh? The function of language, knowledge, understanding, and belief merge in Hesse’s fiction. He was never a writer who stepped away from the huge ideas of psychoanalysis and what it means to be alive. His work looks at how the mind imagines and discovers what's real. Through his characters, Hesse delves to uncover the meaning to life.
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