Published in 1919, Demian is a crucial novel to an understanding of Hermann Hesse. Demian, whose title came to Hesse in a dream, is the direct outgrowth of his psychoanalysis of 1916-17. It marks a new direction in both the tone and message of his works. Dr. Timothy Leary has referred to Hermann Hesse as "the poet of the interior journey." Demian is the beginning of Hesse's introspection and his turning to the "inward way," as well as his discovery of "magical thinking" as answers to the dilemmas presented to us by modern life.In its format, Demian could be classified as a Bildungsroman, a novel of education, popular in Germany's era of Romanticism. But, by combining with this traditional approach the surrealistic quality of "magical thinking," Hesse has far transcended the typical novel of this type. "Magical thinking" is a term difficult to define and would possibly be best handled by an example.
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