Penn State

Michael R. Lucas - Associate Professor of Visual Arts, Penn State Altoona

Book Title: Narcissus and Goldmund

Author: Hermann Hesse

Book Description:

In his novel, Narcissus and Goldman, Hesse describes the lifelong association of a medieval artist and his friend, a cloistered monk. Hesse presents their differing natures: Narcissus, the creative and intuitive personality, Goldman the studied and logical scholar. I read this book for the first time as an undergraduate student of Visual Arts at Penn State. I began to see in this book many metaphors concerning my own development as an artist and student. Slowly, I began to realize that Hesse's characters symbolize the duality that exists in all of us. Rather than two separate individuals, Narcissus and Goldman stand as competing forces in each individual. Ultimately, though, I came to the realization that both forces are necessary to define a complete person. This became one of the guiding concepts in my life and work.

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