Narcissus and Goldmund A Novel

Hermann Hesse; Translated by Ursule Molinaro




Trade Paperback

320 Pages


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Narcissus and Goldmund is the story of a passionate yet uneasy friendship between two men of opposite character. Narcissus, an ascetic instructor at a cloister school, has devoted himself solely to scholarly and spiritual pursuits. One of his students is the sensual, restless Golmund, who is extremely drawn to his teacher's fierce intellect and sense of discipline. When Narcissus persuades the young student that he is not meant for a life of self-denial, Goldmund sets off in pursuit of aesthetic and physical pleasures, a path that leads him to a final, unexpected reunion with Narcissus.


Praise for Narcissus and Goldmund

"A poetic novel unique in its fascination."—Thomas Mann

"One of the most profound and magical novels published in our age."—Kirkus Reviews

"Hesse was a great writer in precisely the modern sense: complex, subtle, allusive; alive to the important play, to the desperate yet frolicsome game of writing . . . Narcissus and Goldmund is his very best . . . What makes this short book so limitlessly vast is the body-and-soul-shaking debate that runs through it, which it has the honesty and courage not to resolve: between the flesh and spirit, art and scientific or religious speculation, action and contemplation, between the wayfaring and the sedentary in us."—John Simon, The New York Times Book Review

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Hermann Hesse; Translated by Ursule Molinaro

  • Hermann Hesse was born in Germany in 1877 and later became a citizen of Switzerland. As a Western man profoundly affected by the mysticism of Eastern thought, he wrote many novels, stories, and essays that bear a vital spiritual force that has captured the imagination and loyalty of many generations of readers. His works include Steppenwolf, Narcissus and Goldmund, and The Glass Bead Game. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. Hermann Hesse died in 1962.

  • Hermann Hesse ©Suhrkamp Verlag