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The Prodigy

The Prodigy

By Hermann Hesse
Translated by W.J. Strachan

The Prodigy, written in 1905, is Hermann Hesse's bitter indictment of the educational system prevalent in Europe at the time. It is the story of Hans Giebenrath, the brilliant young son of a provincial bourgeois family in southern Germany who becomes the first boy from his town to enter a prestigious Protestant theological college. Once there, however, his spirit is systematically broken by his parents and teachers. Over-anxious to ensure his success, they forget to consider his health and happiness. Subsiding into a fatal apathy, he is sent home for medical reasons. Here he falls in love, becomes an engineer's apprentice, starts drinking alcohol and, eventually, dies by drowning.

It was as a result of Hesse's antipathy to the style of schooling common in German society at the beginning of the twentieth century that he developed his deeply personal convictions about the value of Eastern education in developing the self.

Paperback
196 Pages
5 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
Peter Owen Publishers
ISBN 9780720614299

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