Kitty's Reviews > Narcissus and Goldmund

Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse
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Jan 04, 10

Read in December, 2009

I may have read this over 40 years ago, but read this over Christmas before passing it on to my son.
Goldmund's search, his exploration of being in the world, survival and witnessing of horrors is as apropos to the human condition today as it was over a hundred years ago. I was particularly drawn by the description of emptiness he suffers after creating art . Both his statue of St. John and his big work at the cloister -- and the reflection about how what might have made him happy, working with Master Niklaus, was no longer of importance. How creation may indeed be what allows us to continue, but at the completion of a work of art, we are propelled forward and cannot still the moment; nothing is eternal. Goldmund's "Happy impatience", his perception that"it is shameless how life makes fun of us -- it was a joke or a cause for weeping" his ruminations on duality, his overcoming of the transitory through art... his confession and penance, foil beautifully the quieter struggle of Narcissus. This tale haunts me and I continue to write about it, explore it through images and words it triggers in my mind.
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