This volume gathers the most alluring stories, recollections, contemplations and poems on butterflies by Herman Hesse.
"I have always had a connection with butterflies and other fleeting and ephemeral beauties, while I have never succeeded in maintaining permanent, committed and so-called solid relationships," writes Hermann Hesse in a letter from 1926. This preference, occasionally resembling an elective affinity, for "flowers and butterflies, that are of everlasting things, a fleeting allegory" – as he says in one of his poems, has left its mark on Hesse’s entire oeuvre.
About the Author
HERMANN HESSE was born in 1877 in Calw, Germany. He grew to become a celebrated author and the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. As the son of missionaries, he developed a fascination with self-discovery and spiritual explorations, an interest also likely due in part to his lifelong struggle with depression, which led him to study Sigmund Freud and, later, to undergo psychoanalysis with Carl Jung. In 1912 he moved to Switzerland, where he wrote his best-known books, including the classic Siddhartha; composed poetry; and painted landscapes. He passed away in 1962 in Montagnola, Switzerland. Hesse is one of the most widely translated authors of the twentieth century; his work continues to have influence worldwide.
VOLKER MICHELS edited the first complete edition of Hermann. Hesse’s writings, consisting of approximately fifteen thousand pages in twenty volumes. He is the world’s foremost authority on Hesse’s work and also manages the Nobel laureate’s literary and artistic estate.
ELISABETH LAUFFER is the translator of more than twenty books from German. She is the recipient of numerous honors including the Gutekunst Prize and KulturKontakt Artist-in-Residency, as well as holding a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
JAKOB HÜBNER (1761-1826) was an Augsburger painter and textiles designer acclaimed for his colorful copper engravings, known as chalcographies, illustrating insects, flowers, and other natural wonders. This technique was among Hermann Hesse’s favorites as he thought it to be much more precise and beautiful than modern reproductions
A lovely small book...assembles Hesse’s lepidopteran “reflections, tales and verse,” including an extract from the novel “Demian.” Translated by Elisabeth Lauffer, the selections were chosen by the world’s foremost Hesse authority, Volker Michels, who also contributes an interpretive afterword, while the little book itself is further enhanced with dozens of Jakob Hubner’s 18th-century engravings of these flowerlike insects. If you celebrate Christmas in July, this will make an ideal stocking stuffer!
— Michael Dirda - The Washington Post
An exquisite tribute to … the natural world.
— Portland Book Review
A charming book for nature and literature lovers...leaving audiences feeling as lucky to encounter it as Hesse felt about meeting his winged subjects. — Foreword Reviews
In these peaceful meditations, Nobel author Herman Hesse contemplates both the eternal and the ephemeral, the yin and yang of life.
— Wendy Williams, New York Times best-selling author of The Language of Butterflies
soulful century-old reflection. — Maria Popova - The Marginalian
This volume on butterflies is a perfect
companion to the Hesse anthology on trees…[and] may give you an inkling of the
wonder you had as a child. — Today’s American Catholic