The fairy tales of Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse, 1877-1962

Book - 1995

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : Bantam c1995.
Language
English
German
Physical Description
266 p.
ISBN
0553377760
0553100238
Main Author
Hermann Hesse, 1877-1962 (-)
Other Authors
Jack Zipes, 1937- (-)
  • The dwarf
  • Shadow play
  • A man by the name of Ziegler
  • The city
  • Dr. Knoegle's end
  • The beautiful dream
  • The three Linden trees
  • Augustus
  • The poet
  • Flute dream
  • A dream about the gods
  • Strange news from another planet
  • Faldum
  • A dream sequence
  • The forest dweller
  • The difficult path
  • If the war continues
  • The European
  • The empire
  • The painter
  • The fairy tale about the wicker chair
  • Iris.
Review by Choice Reviews

Libraries can never have too much work in English on a recipient of the Nobel prize for literature. This is certainly true for Hesse (1877-1962, Nobel prize 1946), regardless of the opinion one may have of this controversial writer. His pacifism, his critique of technology and of the West's naive belief in progress and faith in civilization, his glorification of the self in opposition to society, and his openness to the wisdom of all the world's religions made Hesse the US counterculture's most popular German author in the 1960s and 1970s. Since that time, however, few works by Hesse have been translated. This collection makes several stories available for the first time in English. Although these tales, written between 1904 and 1918, are not Hesse's best work, they simplify access to Hesse's world and deepen the reader's understanding of his themes. Zipes's excellent brief introduction summarizes Hesse's life and the major concerns of his oeuvre. Zipes acknowledges that these tales are not "fairy tales" in the normal sense of the word, but he characterizes them as such because each contains a fantastic element. One of America's foremost authorities on fairy tales, Zipes has produced a large body of work on the Brothers Grimm. Especially because of its excellent rendering of Hesse's German into English, this book will enhance his reputation as both critic and translator. Recommended for all collections. Copyright 1999 American Library Association

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Hesse unerringly creates the feel of a fairy tale in the first paragraph of all these works but then proceeds to alter their development in an unmistakably 20th-century way. The title character of "Augustus," for example, loses everything and passes through a series of tribulations, like the traditional fairy-tale hero, but attains happiness without regaining his fortune, looks, health, or the love and affection of his friends. Slightly more than half these tales were written during World War I and consequently deal with the great themes of war and peace, life, suffering, and death. Particularly poignant is "A Dream of the Gods," which depicts the enthusiasm that greeted the outbreak of war while subtly exposing its folly. Lay readers will enjoy this as much as literary specialists.?Michael T. O'Pecko, Towson State Univ., Md. Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Merging Eastern mysticism with the motifs of the European fairy tale, the stories translated for this volume, many for the first time, offer insight into Hesse's development as an artist during the first two decades of this century. Sometimes lush and lyrical, sometimes in the simple language of the parable, these tales elaborate Hesse's concerns with mortality, the unity of life and the isolation of the artist. Characters renounce human society to become poets, vegetarians or, as in the fantastic story ``Faldum,'' a mountain. The artist as ascetic, observer and loner, misunderstood by his audience, is a recurring theme. Several of the stories reflect Hesse's pacifist stance during WWI, covering great spans of time to drive home the devastation of war and transience of civilization. Whether evoking the rise and fall of a nation or an individual, Hesse is preoccupied with the need for both to rediscover their ``undestroyed essence'' and begin anew. A refreshing lack of narrative closure distinguishes Hesse's tales, which mitigates an irritating tendency to equate self-knowledge with the return home to an eternal, spiritual mother. Quirky and evocative, Hesse's fairy tales stand alone, but also amplify the ideas and utopian longings of such counterculture avatars as Siddhartha and Steppenwolf. (Nov.) Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A collection of twenty-two fairy tales by the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, most translated into English for the first time, show the influence of German Romanticism, psychoanalysis, and Eastern religion on his development as an author. Simultaneous.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A collection of twenty-two fairy tales by the Nobel Prize winning novelist, most translated into English for the first time, show the influence of German Romanticism, psychoanalysis, and Eastern religion on his development as an author

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Translated and with an introduction by Jack ZipesA collection of twenty-two fairy tales by the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, most translated into English for the first time, show the influence of German Romanticism, psychoanalysis, and Eastern religion on his development as an author.Praise for The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse“Sometimes lush and lyrical, sometimes in the simple language of the parable, these tales elaborate Hesse's concerns with mortality, the unity of life and the isolation of the artist. . . . Quirky and evocative, Hesse's fairy tales stand alone, but also amplify the ideas and utopian longings of such counterculture avatars as Siddhartha and Steppenwolf.”—Publishers Weekly“Hesse unerringly creates the feel of a fairy tale. . . . Lay readers will enjoy this as much as literary specialists.”—Library Journal