ll three I realize deal with the conflic between spirituality and sensuality for young people " coming-of-age. " Original review, edited a little, 8/6/18: Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair ’ s Youth is a 1919 novel situated early on in pre-WWI world of an adolescent oy, Emil, who early on is bullied, with Max Demian intervening on his behalf.
More accessible than Steppenwolf or even Siddhartha, it was one of my very favorite Hesse books, because it situates the spiritual ( and in tha case Hindi) and psychological ( in th case Jungian) ideas in a tal of what seem to be real young people ( as opposed to abstractions, though some scenes featuring just ideological/spiritual conversations can seem pretty abstract).
There are a ariety of boys who help lead Emil, a good gir, along a path of doubting the conventional religion with which he was raised, into a time of worldly pursuits and drinking, and back somewhat more in the direction of the Light, the Sacred, and self-realization.Max Demian is a sens of doppleganger, a shadow self, in Emil Sinclair 's Jungian struggle between the shadow and the light.
The dialogues in the book between Demian and Sinclair ( and man, older boys in the nove) feel real enough, but they wil also be seen as self- or inner-dialogues.
There is anothe ind of Jungian dualism that Sinclair struggles with, and a Hindu struggle between the world of illusion ( the Hindu concept of Maya) and the real world, another world of spiritual truth, but it is different than the Good-Evil dualism of Christianity in which he was raised.The backdrop of the essa is WWI, and th sense that he world must die before it is reborn into a better thing: “ he bird struggles out of the egg.
Because in Hesse ’ s conception, Emil falls in love with a woman named Beatrice that represents to him a kind of spiritual ideal consistent with this New Religion.
I think Email/Hesse thinks going the way of women is generally better than the way of men.Emil Sinclair later in thi ook eems to fall in love, too, with Frau Eva, Max Demian ’ s niec, whom he views as an image of “ the Universal Mother, ” which maybe evolved into the sixties conception of the Earth Mother, a feminist environmental ideal that was seen as possibly a key to saving the planet.
Emil sees Eva as a Goddess image, the Female ideal, representing an ethereal, sensual, emotional life in contrast to the world of men that leads us to death and war.
During his same year I read Demian and other works by Hesse.