Demian (1919) is the first important novel Hermann Hesse wrote after his nervous breakdown in 1916. As such, it holds a special place in Hesse’s oeuvre for in it one can ascertain the themes and motifs that became a hallmark of his other important interwar novels Siddhartha and Der Steppenwolf. But, unlike these later and better-known works, Demian also retained somewhat closer connections to the Jungian archetypes that inform so much of Hesse’s thinking at the time.
Hesse had enjoyed some success as a novelist prior to World War I. But his opposition to the enthusiasm that greeted the outbreak of the war in 1914, coupled with his first wife’s mental illness, the death of his father, …
Skidmore, James M.. "Demian: die Geschichte einer Jugend". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 February 2008
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