Dustin's Reviews > Narcissus and Goldmund

Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse
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's review
Feb 10, 2012

it was amazing
Read from February 10 to 21, 2012

or Goldmund Has Sex With Everybody. I have to read more Hesse. I loved Steppenwolf and this was great as well. It has a calm sincerity that feels honest and welcoming. It had the pace I like and it wasn't longer than it needed to be. The transformation of the characters wasn't as sudden as it was in Steppenwolf (in Steppenwolf the revelation came without bringing me along with it), so I felt more included. The details of Goldmund's journey are almost inconsequential, it's all about how those details or events effect his mind and heart. He matures and changes in the ways you'd more or less expect him to but he doesn't change fundamentally. When he leaves he is carefree and promiscuous and optimistic and worldly and I was worried that the story would sterilize him through his (mis)adventures, but I was glad that he was more or less allowed to retain his self.

One thing some older books make me think about, and this book especially, is the intensity of brotherly or friendly love. We don't have that same kind of strong connection between friends or even family. It's all tempered by homophobia or embarrassment. I can't imagine having as strong a bond as Narcissus and Goldmund, but it was so powerful and genuine. The way they loved each other was really not that different from romantic love, and today that would seem awkward, yet it was so innocent and comforting.

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