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Pictor's Metamorphoses and Other Fantasies

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Selected and with an Introduction by Theodore Ziolkowski. In the spring of 1922, several months after completing Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse wrote a fairy tale that was also a love story, inspired by the woman who was to become his second wife. That story, Pictor's Metamorphoses, is presented here along with a half century of Hesse's other short writings. Inspired by the Arab Selected and with an Introduction by Theodore Ziolkowski. In the spring of 1922, several months after completing Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse wrote a fairy tale that was also a love story, inspired by the woman who was to become his second wife. That story, Pictor's Metamorphoses, is presented here along with a half century of Hesse's other short writings. Inspired by the Arabian Nights and the tales of the Brothers Grimm, these nineteen stories display the full range of Hesse's lifetime fascination with fantasy--as dream, fairy tale, folktale, satire, and allegory.

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Selected and with an Introduction by Theodore Ziolkowski. In the spring of 1922, several months after completing Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse wrote a fairy tale that was also a love story, inspired by the woman who was to become his second wife. That story, Pictor's Metamorphoses, is presented here along with a half century of Hesse's other short writings. Inspired by the Arab Selected and with an Introduction by Theodore Ziolkowski. In the spring of 1922, several months after completing Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse wrote a fairy tale that was also a love story, inspired by the woman who was to become his second wife. That story, Pictor's Metamorphoses, is presented here along with a half century of Hesse's other short writings. Inspired by the Arabian Nights and the tales of the Brothers Grimm, these nineteen stories display the full range of Hesse's lifetime fascination with fantasy--as dream, fairy tale, folktale, satire, and allegory.

30 review for Pictor's Metamorphoses and Other Fantasies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Adriana Scarpin

    Livro que contem as ilustrações e o conto Transformações, vários poemas e um posfácio que conta parte da vida de Hesse, incluindo trechos de cartas, inclusive uma em que o próprio Hesse atesta a genialidade do Sr. Jung com quem ele se consultava bastante em tempos de escrever o Sidartha e esse conto dual sobre Piktor.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laura Leilani

    So. Bizarre. Had to read some stories twice. The symbolism was sometimes elusive for me. This collection of short stories have been called fairy tales, but moral fantasies is a better description for them. One story took place in a country called Normalia. It had started off as a mental institution and as it got over crowded it simply kept growing until it was the size of a country. When it was written it was probably a comment on Nazi Germany. I found it also a fitting description of North Korea So. Bizarre. Had to read some stories twice. The symbolism was sometimes elusive for me. This collection of short stories have been called fairy tales, but moral fantasies is a better description for them. One story took place in a country called Normalia. It had started off as a mental institution and as it got over crowded it simply kept growing until it was the size of a country. When it was written it was probably a comment on Nazi Germany. I found it also a fitting description of North Korea. A couple stories were romances. A couple were about attempting to become a great artist. In another, a man has a discussion with his stove. Great book but it helps to be open to the symbolism; in some stories more than others.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Hesse fans will enjoy these short stories, fables, and indeed, fantasies that non-Hesse fans will find either hard to understand or too whimsical to bother trying. The hardcover edition (maybe the paperback too?) includes the original transcript of Pictor's Metamorphoses as penned by Mr. Hesse when he was very young. It also includes some incredible art work created by the author. I found the first story in the book (which is not the title story) interesting to read but obscure in its meaning. T Hesse fans will enjoy these short stories, fables, and indeed, fantasies that non-Hesse fans will find either hard to understand or too whimsical to bother trying. The hardcover edition (maybe the paperback too?) includes the original transcript of Pictor's Metamorphoses as penned by Mr. Hesse when he was very young. It also includes some incredible art work created by the author. I found the first story in the book (which is not the title story) interesting to read but obscure in its meaning. The prose is, in places, wonderful but the story meanders so much that its ambiguity becomes tedious after a while. The other stories are more easily digested. And again, Hesse fans will savor the psychological playfullness that Hesse does so well. This book is no Siddhartha, Demian or, my personal favorite, Steppenwolf. For one thing, it is a collection of short stories, not a novel, and thus cannot, by limitation in length, delve into the deep and often dark abyss of the human psyche as Hesse does in his novels. However, Hesse fans will definitely want to add this book to their collection.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    I was surprisingly non-plussed by most of these stories. Even the titular tale, Pictor's Metamorphoses seemed unremarkable. There are a few great bits in here, however. "Hannes" is the tale of a man who was always thought to be mentally handicapped and is therefore ridiculed to the point that he prefers the company of animals. Thus he retains his capacity to interact directly with the animate earth - not just with the sheep and cows he tends, but with the clouds, the rivers, the rocks. Not to gi I was surprisingly non-plussed by most of these stories. Even the titular tale, Pictor's Metamorphoses seemed unremarkable. There are a few great bits in here, however. "Hannes" is the tale of a man who was always thought to be mentally handicapped and is therefore ridiculed to the point that he prefers the company of animals. Thus he retains his capacity to interact directly with the animate earth - not just with the sheep and cows he tends, but with the clouds, the rivers, the rocks. Not to give anything away, the townspeople come to learn before long that his lifestyle has lent him an unusually peace and kindness, and he is thus able to help them overcome personal strife. The Wicker Chair story is also cute and quite nice.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jason O'brien

    I have really enjoyed some of Hesse’s novels, which lead me to “Pictor’s Metamorphoses and Other Fantasies”, although I am not big on short stories. Hesse’s style shines through each of the stories here but some pieces like “Lulu” are a bit arduous and may require a second reading. Two of the nineteen stories in this collection left an indelible impression on me. “Bird” a story of a magical bird unique to a small town, and the challenges the townsfolk face when a bounty is placed on its head. And I have really enjoyed some of Hesse’s novels, which lead me to “Pictor’s Metamorphoses and Other Fantasies”, although I am not big on short stories. Hesse’s style shines through each of the stories here but some pieces like “Lulu” are a bit arduous and may require a second reading. Two of the nineteen stories in this collection left an indelible impression on me. “Bird” a story of a magical bird unique to a small town, and the challenges the townsfolk face when a bounty is placed on its head. And “Report from Normalia” a story of a utopian society that was birthed out of an Insane asylum.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Brown

    Every time I read one of Hesse's works, it is a profound experience. Seriously, every single work of Hesse I have ever read has been either a spiritual awakening or a psyche shattering eye opener. I love the man, for his writings if for nothing else.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Iris Bratton

    3.5/5 STARS

  8. 5 out of 5

    Don Gubler

    Uneven collection but some gems of historical Hesse.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    Piktor's Metamorphoses is a fairy tale written an illustrated by Herman Hesse. It's the sweetest story ever.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    "He longed only for the feeling of that vibration, that power current, that secret intimacy, in which he himself would be annihilated and perish, would die and be reborn... made life bearable, brought something like meaning to it, transfigured and redeemed it" The Painter Of the short stories the best are: "The Man of the Forests", "The Dream of the Gods", "The Painter", "Pictor's Metamorphoses", "Nocturnal Games", and "Christmas with Two Children's Stories". A couple of the stories felt incomple "He longed only for the feeling of that vibration, that power current, that secret intimacy, in which he himself would be annihilated and perish, would die and be reborn... made life bearable, brought something like meaning to it, transfigured and redeemed it" The Painter Of the short stories the best are: "The Man of the Forests", "The Dream of the Gods", "The Painter", "Pictor's Metamorphoses", "Nocturnal Games", and "Christmas with Two Children's Stories". A couple of the stories felt incomplete though.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leonardo Rydin Gorjão

    A soothing fairy tale, a pleasant welcome into Hermann Hesse's mind and soul.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    Not as deep/philosophical as his other works

  13. 4 out of 5

    blakeR

    A breezy collection of light fantasy stories from a typically heavy-handed spiritual explorer, most of these tales feel undercooked (most likely intentionally) compared to Hesse's other works. I agree with Hesse (and many others) on the cultural significance of fairy/folk tales, but it's hard to craft short versions of them that don't feel trivial. The highlights are the quietly powerful Jesus-ish allegory "Hannes," "The Painter," "Bird" and "Two Children's Stories." I also strongly identified wi A breezy collection of light fantasy stories from a typically heavy-handed spiritual explorer, most of these tales feel undercooked (most likely intentionally) compared to Hesse's other works. I agree with Hesse (and many others) on the cultural significance of fairy/folk tales, but it's hard to craft short versions of them that don't feel trivial. The highlights are the quietly powerful Jesus-ish allegory "Hannes," "The Painter," "Bird" and "Two Children's Stories." I also strongly identified with the 1st of his "Nocturnal Games," as it's an anxiety dream I've had many times myself. What most of the best stories in the collection have in common is that they're strongly autobiographical. "Two Children's Stories" in particular offers fascinating insights into Hesse's personal life and thought process. "Bird" is probably the most complete story, including references to various other stories and works such as "Klingsor's Last Summer," "Pictor's Metamorphoses" and Journey to the East. This in addition to biting social satire. Another thing I liked about the collection was that it documents Hesse's development as an author since the stories are laid out in chronological order, some of them from even before adulthood. His evolution is interesting to avowed fans such as myself. Overall I would recommend this collection only to Hesse enthusiasts. A better, more polished collection of stories, some of them fantastical too, would be Strange News from Another Star (see my review), which is where I would start if you're interested in Hesse's short works. Not Bad Reviews @blakerosser1

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nemo

    Hermann Hesse is my favourite writer but this just disappoints me. I love Demian and Steppenwolf because of the intertwining of fantasy and reality and somehow implicitly shows the genuine emotion in characters, the obsolete writing allow the readers to interpret them differently and also personally, since some intimate emotions seems easier to attach to it. But Pictor’s Metamorphosis seems to me nothing special but just short stories with predictable plots. There’s some pretty good stories but Hermann Hesse is my favourite writer but this just disappoints me. I love Demian and Steppenwolf because of the intertwining of fantasy and reality and somehow implicitly shows the genuine emotion in characters, the obsolete writing allow the readers to interpret them differently and also personally, since some intimate emotions seems easier to attach to it. But Pictor’s Metamorphosis seems to me nothing special but just short stories with predictable plots. There’s some pretty good stories but just one or two and in just overall this book doesn’t really left me a great impression. I guess only those more famous books are his masterpieces others are just too ordinary.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gertrude & Victoria

    Inspired and influenced by classical German folktales, Hermann Hesse creates a world of child-like fantasy. Some of these stories borrow directly from these folk classics, which Hesse read much of as a child. Many of these stories are allegorical in nature and not easy to fully understand in one reading. However, each one has a moral of universal appeal to share. One story that impresses is Hannes; it is a story of two brothers, born from different mothers. The younger leaves home in search of la Inspired and influenced by classical German folktales, Hermann Hesse creates a world of child-like fantasy. Some of these stories borrow directly from these folk classics, which Hesse read much of as a child. Many of these stories are allegorical in nature and not easy to fully understand in one reading. However, each one has a moral of universal appeal to share. One story that impresses is Hannes; it is a story of two brothers, born from different mothers. The younger leaves home in search of labor, and the older remains behind to work for the father, who favors him above the younger. These two brothers can not be any more different and are modeled after Cain and Abel. Another impressive story is King Yu. This story, as one can imagine, takes place in the Far East - China. This story seems to be a reworking of The Boy Who Cried Wolf; the queen can be substituted for the boy. One element is that of blind love: the king in this tale, King Yu, is quite taken by the queen and does anything to please or placate her, and as a result sees the downfall of an entire kingdom. These are two of the nine-teen short tales in this collection, Pictor's Metamorphoses. We can gain a better appreciation of Hesse from contemplating these enduring tales of beauty and wisdom.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I was all set to prematurely give this one five stars after I finished "The Man of the Forests," but the later stories get pretty dense. Some just read like entries out of Hesse's journal. There's probably more to unpack than I realized on first read, but this time around, the short fables/parables of the first half made the book for me. Overall, worth the read. Some stories are witty (The Merman), some are poignant (Three Lindens), and most use really simple but vibrant imagery. The first one's I was all set to prematurely give this one five stars after I finished "The Man of the Forests," but the later stories get pretty dense. Some just read like entries out of Hesse's journal. There's probably more to unpack than I realized on first read, but this time around, the short fables/parables of the first half made the book for me. Overall, worth the read. Some stories are witty (The Merman), some are poignant (Three Lindens), and most use really simple but vibrant imagery. The first one's a little long and bizarre (ends with a scene straight out of a Lynch film), but once you get through that, fairly smooth sailing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Vesterager

    I think it was a beautiful story, and it made me think about life. It reminds of some of the other books I've read by Herman Hesse they also seem to be about the different "personalitys" or "souls" that a human contains and about thinking your life through at any age. Piktor's Metamorphoses are a story written like a fairytale very beautiful written, and stil relevant. Wonderful book! I apoligize for any spelling or grammatical fails. ^.^

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carlos

    This collection of incredible honest stories allow the reader to enter Hesse’s mind with such ease and depth that s/he will be surprised at the seminaries found between what is there and what is in the reader’s own mind, yet again emphasizing the ageless nature of Hesse’s ability to tell those stories that lurk in the world’s subconscious mind.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Its really interesting that after all his searching he finally comes to some of these answers. Its like watching the King Hobbit and the Creator of Caspian converse with one another. Its a new look for one of my favorites.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cooper Renner

    Some of Hesse's novels are really fine, so I was fairly disappointed in this collection of mostly short works of fantasy or fairy tale. "King Yu", a kind of variation on "Boy who Cried Wolf", and "Bird"--both late works--are quite good, however.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Phoenix

    Hesse is my favorite writer. And, although most of this dreamy production is over my head, I could still feel the love and wonder Hesse possessed in his mind and fingers!

  22. 4 out of 5

    David Melbie

    Another author that was recommended to me by Joseph Campbell. Hesse is a wonderful storyteller. If you have never read Hesse you could start here.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vusal Tagiyev

    that was kind of a fable

  24. 4 out of 5

    Richard Crookes

    Fabulous in the true sense of the word. A book I return to again and again for refreshment.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bob G

    Pretty good tales. Enjoyable quick read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    SJ Loria

    For a better bang for your buck, go with the Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse. It features many more stories. This features a few good ones with typical Hesse themes.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bandi

    Peter kamenzind .. is how i remember this book Siddhartha immersed in art and country side paradise is kamenzind

  28. 4 out of 5

    Randall

    Some great. Some not so much.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shardh Shah

    thought provoking and full of satire.

  30. 5 out of 5

    ruby

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