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Peter Camenzind: A Novel by Hermann Hesse

A wonderful story which outlines a series of events where a man (Peter Camenzind) confronts a situation where he can see the pretension and the reality of the situation, and chooses the reality. In this way the book is surprisingly anti-romantic — situation after situation — nature, family, love and charity are addressed and in each case a simple human resolution is discovered after a kind of mental or intellectual struggle between an egoist and a transcendentalist perspective. The simplicity and significance of ordinary life is in every way affirmed — in once sense the story is highly Taoist, but in a more important way the book is profoundly Nietzscheian — in that what we see is the arc of Peter Camenzind becoming who he is.

Only a careless reader could mistake Hesse for a romantic.

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October 6, 2008 - Posted by | 40th Birthday Project

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