Narcissus and Goldmund, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


This book comes with a new foreword by Graham Coxon.

Narcissus is a teacher at Mariabronn, a monastery in medieval Germany, and Goldmund is his favourite pupil.

While Narcissus remains detached from the world in prayer and meditation, Goldmund runs away from the monastery in pursuit of love.

Thereafter, he lives a picaresque wanderer's life, his amatory adventures resulting in pain as well as ecstasy.

His eventual reunion with Narcissus brings into focus the diversity between artist and thinker, Dionysian and Apollonian.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780720612912

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Another great offering from Hesse, with large doses of Siddhartha thrown in. This is the journey of two men; Narcissus, the pious, meditative monk and his student, the sensual and artistic Goldmund. The plot follows Goldmund in his rejection of the monastery, as well as his philosophical rejection of the intellect in favour of the senses.His journey through medieval Germany, where hedonism, violence and death intermingle to define Goldmund, eventually lead him to embrace art as his personal form of expression, a path that is both painful and troubled. Yet the treatment of Goldmund by Hesse, especially in contrast with Narcissus, tends towards the sympathetic; he too seems to champion the pursuit of the aesthetic over the ascetic.This work is about opposites, and what Hesse considers the irreconcilable; the intellect and the senses. These two men, and their respective paths, provide an enjoyable and philosophical journey, with some murder, plague, sex and intrigue along the way.

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