Narcissus, a young adult, lives a sheltered life in a monastery with other monks who value quiet contemplation. His faith and lifestyle travel a path relatively free of pain and suffering. And passion. He is tied to a sense of duty.
Narcissus welcomes Goldmund, a teen-ager, to the cloister and guides him to peer deep inside himself. Goldmund discovers his own artistic talents as well as his restless soul. He leaves Narcissus to live the life of a homeless, faithless man who endures great pain and suffering. Passion is his driving force.
Whose life was superior? Happier? More worthy?
After many years, Goldmund returns to Narcissus and from the messiness of Goldmund’s life, the monk finds his own clarity and realizes the depth of his love for his former student. His revelations will give readers pause.
Narcissus and Goldmund. German philosopher/author Hermann Hesse at his best.
2 thoughts on “Hermann Hesse’s Journey of the Heart”
Hello Reg, I am the author of the virtual pilgrimage to Compostela, “Walking Out of the World,” on the equusasinus.net blog. You liked one of my pages so I thought I’d look at your blog. Herman Hesse’s Narziss and Goldmund is one of the books on my list to review during this pilgrimage – along with two others you have reviewed here. I regarded this novel particularly as a pilgrimage book and, yes, “Whose life was superior? Happier? More worthy?” These are central questions in that narrative of the holy and the artistic, the left and the right brain, the Aristotle and the Plato of our civilisation. A great book and one to meditate upon while walking to Compostela.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for checking out my book blog…you make a compelling point about Narcissus and Goldmund and I think happiness and fulfillment are at the core of Hesse’s books. I felt that in Siddhartha as well. I saw it in JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye character too. Journeys of discovery.
Your virtual journey is an interesting way to explore a pilgrimage. I also find writing is a way to explore many life themes…my second book is taking me different ways as I “walk” four European trails again.
LikeLiked by 1 person