A powerful new translation of Nobel Prize winner Hermann Hesse’s masterpiece of youthful rebellion—with a foreword and cover art by James Franco
A Penguin Classic
A young man awakens to selfhood and to a world of possibilities beyond the conventions of his upbringing in Nobel Prize winner Hermann Hesse’s beloved novel Demian. Emil Sinclair is a quiet boy drawn into a forbidden yet seductive realm of petty crime and defiance. His guide is his precocious, mysterious classmate Max Demian, who provokes in Emil a search for self-discovery and spiritual fulfillment. A brilliant psychological portrait, Demian is given new life in this translation, which together with James Franco’s personal and inspiring foreword will bring a new generation to Hesse’s widely influential coming-of-age novel.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
Hermann Hesse (1877–1962) won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. His many books include Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and Narcissus and Goldmund.
Damion Searls (translator) has translated many classic twentieth-century authors, including Proust, Rilke, and Thomas Bernhard. His translation of Hans Keilson’s Comedy in a Minor Key was a New York Times Notable Book and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Searls lives in Brooklyn.
Ralph Freedman (introduction) is a professor emeritus of comparative literature at Princeton University and the author of an acclaimed biography of Hermann Hesse. He lives in Decatur, Georgia.
James Franco (foreword) is an Oscar-nominated actor and director. His writing has appeared in Esquire, the Wall Street Journal, and McSweeney’s. Franco lives in New York.
By the Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
“Demian became . . . a voice I could listen to and contemplate as I tried to find my way from childhood to adulthood and into the world of art.” —James Franco, from the Foreword
“[An] excellent new translation.” —The Times Literary Supplement