– translated by W.J. Strachan – A London Panther 1969
Read from March 11th to 29th 2016
I will try not to be emotional and write an “objective” review, even though Hermann Hesse’s Demian moved me beyond words and explanations. Maybe because its serene tone and unaggressive intellectualism have a mesmerizing quality, or maybe because, just like Siddhartha some years later, it does not try to challenge or convince you. Or maybe because of the open-minded way in which it sees the world, it tells its story, it reveals its truth. And last but not least maybe because of the beautiful image of a perfect friendship the book leaves us with.
It has been said that Demian is an indispensable reading in order to begin to understand Herman Hesse’s prose, and I can see why. Like the above-mentioned Siddhartha, it follows the same route towards the inner self. But while Siddhartha chooses the path of the Buddhist serenity and separation from the world, Demian searches the path towards the world as a whole in which the contraries, even though they can’t be harmonized, neither can be separated.