Read Demian by Hermann Hesse Free Online
Book Title: Demian|
The author of the book: Hermann Hesse
ISBN 13: 9781496154392
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 799 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1438 times
Reader ratings: 6.8
Edition: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Date of issue: March 18th 2014
Read full description of the books:
Star-ratings are funny little things.* At the risk of putting words into your collective binary mouth, let me tell you how it goes with a (for loss of a better word) "good" book...you know, one that you finish all too quickly and must lick your fingers and frantically flip back several pages in order to absorb the end once more, this time wholly, slowly, meditatively. At last accepting that you have experienced the novel's final message, that final flash of imagery both resolute and interpretively open-ended, you gingerly set your paperback down (this isn't the Ritz, folks) feeling slightly dizzy, buzzy-brained, shifty-eyed, and maybe even a bit physically fatigued. Immediately you find yourself absorbed in thoughts of how much this book meant to you within the context of the particular time that it chose to stroll into your life, specifically its impact on your sense of self both internal and external (who you are to you, who you seem to others, how you feel that you appear to the world and how that actually manifests itself in your thoughts and actions...all, I assure you/me, vastly different animals).
If you were lucky in your selection of purchased/borrowed/stolen/traded book, this thought process will go on for several hours or even days. You may go out and have drinks with friends, you may go make an ass out of yourself at a dance party, you may go on a date (if anyone does THAT anymore) to a movie, concert, or art show, but that book (again, if you're lucky) is still with you like the taste of phlegm in the back of your throat, like the subtle but ever-present pangs of self-doubt and squelched dreams, like thoughts of what you shoulda woulda coulda said to a bully in third grade or during a fight with a friend or foe sometime last week. There that novel is, gently rapping at your chamber door. You engage with others, but a part of you is not there. This is the important part of you, the contemplative self striving for your soul's resolution, for answers to a myriad of unnameable questions whose answers are all riddles. Hesse struggled with this as we all, my neurotic friends, all too often do. In the process of analyzing the books in his life, from religious texts to Jungian psychology to the philosophical musings of Nietzsche, Hesse found an anchor for the quietly screaming, ever-present thoughts stirred within himself by the written word. For Hesse, it would appear, the answer was in fact hidden within the question. To regain his spiritual and mental equilibrium that had been cast asunder by books, Hesse funneled his scattered thoughts through the physical act of literature itself. He is arguably a meditative writer, forcing his greatest confusions onto the page as if they are fact, editing and re-editing until he finds his own brand of truth. In his quest for contentment, he has provided answers for many others. This was not his goal, however, as can be seen in the fact that he did not even initially publish this novel under his (at the time as much, if not even more than now) highly-recognizable name. All the same, many people claim stock in the Hesse cult, seeing him not as a path to self-questioning, but as a source for answers akin to the Bible or the Eight-fold Path. I do not take Hesse's words as scripture. I do not think that he would have wanted it that way. His novels ask questions of himself, provide answers to himself, and then shake the reader and say "but never mind what I said. Just who the hell are YOU, friend?"
I realize that this may all sound too overblown, like I'm trying to give you some sort of hammy "I'll never let go" Titanic finale-esque analysis of a relatively short and fairly dated novel. Please, do me the favor of bearing in mind that my words concerning the "Cult of Hesse" (the Hessians? No?)are all of the reasons that I was skeptical about reading Hesse's work to begin with. You see, it's a problem with sentimentality. I have this stubborn tendency to avoid overwhelmingly revered as "spiritually liberating" novels and films out of a very specific fear. What if I'm unmoved like a rock, like an iiiiiiiiiisland? I've always been so stern toward fictional worlds, and while I will let music move me to epic fits of tears, only three films (Titanic...KIDDING!) have made me weep in my life: Schindler's List (as a sorostitute-blogger would say, "totz obvi"), Dancer in the Dark (because FUCK) and Heavenly Creatures (which I definitely chalk up to a horrible case of Bronchitis, a whole bottle of liquid codeine, and the post-High School graduation "what the fuck NOW" jitters). Basically, dripping-with-sorrowful-sentimentality-films make me feel cold. I fear that such a book may do worse. However, having as of late been of a S.A.D.-inspired, melancholy disposition, I decided to dim the lights, hush the crowd, draw the curtain open and say "alright Herman, take it away!"
I am certainly glad that I did. This novel opened up several padlocked, bullet-proof doors in my chest, asking me to reanalyze what had really been bothering me. In this quest for self-awareness, we often see ourselves in an idealized fashion, constantly acknowledging what we could be without really recognizing that we actually aren't yet. Sure, we make plans...and we know that we could follow through with them, but we (more often than not) never do. It's always an obligation of tomorrow, something we will take care of later, an inevitable path that we subconsciously feel (due to its presumed inevitability) that we don't have to really struggle for as it will one day just pop itself in our lap like a stray cat looking for a home. Unfortunately, it is never, nor will it ever be, that easy. For many of us, it one day hits you like a cannonball that you were wrong, that you are not the you that you see you to be, and this crushing realization can often times cause you to implode. Sometimes we stay in this defeated state for far too long. We make all the wrong choices in order to hush the monster inside, rather than facing it a la David versus Goliath or the Joe versus the Volcano or whatever analogy you like. This listless wandering, this pain-numbing can go on for months or years or even entire lifetimes. But SOMETIMES something bitch-slaps you awake. In short, this novel woke me up. In his struggle for awareness, for personal equilibrium, the protagonist suffered through many of the same gestures as the rest of we lost souls. You try friends. You try drugs and drink. You try religion or philosophy or boyfriends or girlfriends, all to no avail. Why? Because the answer is there inside of you. You just have to stop day-dreaming, stop small-time scheming through your days. You have to make self-actualization a project, and you have to roll up your sleeves and dig deep. It will hurt. You will sweat. But that's what it takes, and it's probably better that way.
*Today, as you may have noticed either by my long-winded review or the more obvious rating-meter at the top of the page, this book is a five star for me personally. TODAY. I largely chalk this up to the cosmos aligning in pitch-perfect timing in my choosing to read it. Maybe I will change my mind one day. Maybe you will read it and feel that I've read too much into it. Whatever. Like I said, star-ratings are funny things, and constantly must bow to the whims of the mind of the reader.
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Read information about the authorHermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi) which explore an individual's search for spirituality outside society.
In his time, Hesse was a popular and influential author in the German-speaking world; worldwide fame only came later. Hesse's first great novel, "Peter Camenzind", was received enthusiastically by young Germans desiring a different and more "natural" way of life at the time of great economic and technological progress in the country.
Throughout Germany, many schools are named after him. In 1964, the Calwer Hermann-Hesse-Preis was founded, which is awarded every two years, alternately to a German-language literary journal or to the translator of Hesse's work to a foreign language. There is also a Hermann Hesse prize associated with the city of Karlsruhe,Germany.
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