Synopses & Reviews
, Herman Hesse continues his life-long exploration of the irreconcilable elements of human existence. In this fictional memoir, the renowned composer Kuhn recounts his tangled relationships with two artists—his friend Heinrich Muoth, a brooding, self-destructive opera singer, and the gentle, self-assured Gertrude Imthor. Kuhn is drawn to Gertrude upon their first meeting, but Gertrude falls in love with Heinrich, to whom she is introduced when Kuhn auditions them for the leads in his new opera. Hopelessly ill-matched, Gertrude and Heinrich have a disastrous marriage that leaves them both ruined. Yet this tragic affair also becomes the inspiration for Kuhn's opera, the most important success of his artistic career.
Hermann Hesse's third novel, Gertrude, explores the irreconcilable elements in art -- what Nietzsche called the Dionysian and Apollonian. Originally published in 1910, this fictional memoir of the composer Kuhn recounts his friendship with the moody, self-destructive opera singer Heinrich Muoth, and Kuhn's unrequited love for the gentle, self-assured Gertrude. While composing an opera, Kuhn introduces Heinrich and Gertrude so they can try out for the leads, and the two fall in love. Though the marriage of this ill-fated couple ends in disaster, with Heinrich's death and Gertrude's breakdown, it also results in Kuhn's opera, which could never have been completed without their friendship.
About the Author
was born in Germany in 1877 and later became a citizen of Switzerland. As a Western man profoundly affected by the mysticism of Eastern thought, he wrote many novels, stories, and essays that bear a vital spiritual force that has captured the imagination and loyalty of many generations of readers. His works include Steppenwolf
, Narcissus and Goldmund
, and The Glass Bead Game
. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. Hermann Hesse died in 1962.