Hesse's novel of two medieval men, one quietly content with his religion and monastic life, the other in fervent search of more worldly salvation. This conflict between flesh and spirit, between emotional and contemplative man, was a life study for Hesse. It is a theme that transcends all time.
The Hesse Phenomenon “has turned into a vogue, the vogue into a torrent . . . He has appealed both to . . . an underground and to an establishment . . . and to the disenchanted young sharing his contempt for our industrial civilization.”—The New York Times Book Review