Demian by Hermann Hesse

#1 in my 2007 book challenge was Demian by Hermann Hesse. Years ago, a friend said it was his favorite book, so I picked up a copy and it sat on my shelf till now. Emil Sinclair feels different from his family and at his school. After meeting Max Demian, he becomes more aware of difference. After a brief struggle to fit in, Sinclair begins a program of self-education. While Sinclair does evolve, it’s not into the social structure, the typical end of a coming-of-age novel, but rather to someplace beyond it. Nietzsche is a clear influence. The homo-eroticism is barely veiled. This was intriguing to read so soon after I’d read Catcher in the Rye and King Dork. Sinclair and Caulfield have a lot in common. In contrast, King Dork ends with fairly predictable social and familial acceptance.

Comments are closed.