Friday, January 8, 2010

Narcissus and Goldmund - By Hermann Hesse

A story about the two extremes that life can offer....A life of self control and a life of indulgence...However, the ultimate goal remains the same - to find the answers to the unanswered dig deeper into the mysteries of life....To find a way to live life (And that brings one to the question - is there any difference whatsoever?).

Narcissus, the ideal man....confident, strong willed, determined. Aware of the futility of the pursuits of life. Ready to give up everything to reach the very peak.

Goldmund on the other hand, following his heart (his instincts), doing exactly what he wishes to do , that his circumstances permit. Experiencing every bit of pleasure... ecstasy and misery that comes his way. He is no less capable of finding his way to the peak....or is he not?

One seems to be trapped between the two extremes....oscillating between the two, unable to reach any final destination.


S. Hall said...


Herman Hesse loved writing about these two extremes. I remember the reading about Goldmund gave me anxiety in regards to possible "missed experiences" in life, yet the character Narcissus brought me peace and resolve - an ideal.

Perhaps our dispositions dictate what we end up valuing more in life. Maybe the real tragedy would be to never attempt the ascent of either peak (even if one ultimately acknowledges the futility of both).


Susan said...


I think its a tragedy only when one is aware of it :-)

Tushar said...

I dont disagree but i feel that there are incidents and certain circumstances that change and mold the mindset of a person...
There is no harm if the person wants to reach the peak because may be he finds more enjoyment and fun in that...
but definitely the normal scenario and my personal opinion says that its a single life dont waste it for piece of papers but waste it for relations and happiness..

anyways its really nice topic that you choose to write on... :)

Susan said...

"dont waste it for piece of papers but waste it for relations and happiness"...I agree Tushar!