Demian: A Novel

Demian: A Novel

by Hermann Hesse
4.4 52

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Demian 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
Hermann Hesse is without a doubt one of the most intriguing writers I have ever read.

This story considers the evolving, somewhat troubled psyche of a German youth, Sinclair, as he matures during the decade prior to WWI.

As a prepubescent boy, Sinclair recognizes the realm of good and light, symbolized by his God fearing parents and innocent younger sisters, as separate from the realm of evil and dark, symbolized by Franz Kromer, an older, opportunist who extorts Sinclair into fibbing and petty thievery. Another older boy, Demian, rescues Sinclair from Kromer's clutches, and then sows a new perception of the light and dark realms with an inverted interpretation of the parable of Cain and Abel. Demian perceives the mark on Cain's forehead not as a curse, but as a badge of courage, character and power.

Tainted by his experience with Kromer, Sinclair cannot entirely reject Demian's heroic characterization of Cain, and Demian nurtures this upset of clarity, muddling Sinclair's once clear distinction between the realms of good and evil. Demian then plants the alternative perception that the individual must delve into the self to discover his peculiar fate and destiny, a unique purpose apart from the mundane consensus, the mores of the hoard. Hesse then projects Sinclair's turmoil into a characterization of, or perhaps a reflection of, the mass psyche of prewar Europe.

I first read "Demian" forty two years ago, during my high scgool years. At the time I was struggling with my sexuality and was attracted to the homosexual undertones between Demian and Sinclair.

For some reason I saved "Demian," I forgot, long ago, why I saved "Demian," why I did not shuck it off along with my other old skins. Now that I am an outed homosexual, I believe that Sinclair, the main character, is not entering the normal world on any level. In fact he is leaving it. The first time he meets Demian, both know there is something different about him. As their friendship/relationship grows, it become smore and more clear that they should not be part of the normal world, where people to choose to be part of a group, to share a religion, to accept the truth as it is told to them. Demian shows sinclair a new world, where people of a higher intelligence, and by that I am referring to more than simply an academic intelligence, will find each other.¿
Guest More than 1 year ago
Demian enables the reader to see inside of himself. If you read only one book this year, please, let it be this masterpiece by Hesse. It will penetrate in ways that will astound you. For anyone who has felt the lonliness of being this is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely different from the kinds of novels I usually read. However I found it to be thought provoking and interesting. To me it was about the inner struggle we all have within ourselves between what we perceive to be good and evil. It makes us not question our beliefs as question our need for those beliefs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Transcending the learned religion of childhood, Hermann Hesse captures the angst of a young man examining his faith. At times, I felt as if I was reading my own biography.
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