Demian by Hermann Hesse (Heathen Edition)

Demain: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth

Spine #11
Hermann Hesse
N. H. Priday
First Edition
Heathen Edition
December 21, 2022
Heathen Genera
Paperback ISBN
Hardcover ISBN

A man has absolutely no other duty than this: To seek himself, to grope his own way forward, no matter whither it leads. That thought impressed itself deeply on me; that was the fruit of this new event for me. Often had I pictured the future. I had dreamed of filling roles which might be destined for me, as poet perhaps or as prophet, as painter, or some such role. All that was of no account. I was not here to write, to preach, to paint, neither I nor anyone else was here for that purpose. All that was secondary. The true vocation for everyone was only to attain to self-realization.

Hermann Karl Hesse (1877–1962) was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. He found early popularity as an author in his native Germany but was soon embroiled in public controversy following the publication of an essay that appealed to his fellow countrymen regarding their role in the First World War. This personal crisis was quickly followed by the death of his father, the serious illness of a son, and his wife’s deteriorating mental health, leading to a great turning point in his life when he emigrated to Switzerland and sought refuge in psychoanalysis with a disciple of Carl Jung. The first influences of that analysis bore Demian: a novel so radically different from his earlier work that even his friend, the renowned author Thomas Mann, could not believe Hesse wrote it. Initially published under the pseudonym Emil Sinclair, and replete with both Jungian archetypes and Jungian symbolism, it tells the coming-of-age story of troubled adolescent Emil and his quest for self-discovery and spiritual awakening with his friend, Max Demian, as guide.
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"Hesse was bent on self-quest, obsessed by life’s dichotomy, and absorbed by its complexity of polarities.”
Joseph Mileck
Hermann Hesse: Life and Art