2011 Reprint of 1948 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. The main character of this classic novel, Emil Sinclair, is a young boy raised in a bourgeois home, amidst what is described as a Scheinwelt, a play on words that means "world of light" as well as "world of illusion." Emil's entire existence can be summarized as a struggle between two worlds: the show world of illusion (related to the Hindu concept of maya) and the real world, the world of spiritual truth. In the course of the novel, accompanied and prompted by his mysterious classmate 'Max Demian', he detaches from and revolts against the superficial ideals of the world of appearances and eventually awakens into a realization of self. The novel refers to the idea of Gnosticism, particularly the god Abraxas, showing the influence of Carl Jung's psychology. According to Hesse, the novel is a story of Jungian individuation, the process of opening up to one's unconsciousness.
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 T"he Glass Bead Game," He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. Hermann Hesse died in 1962.