"THE LIMITS OF TIME AND SPACE… ILLUSION AND REALITY ARE LIFTED": FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF HERMANN HESSE'S JOURNEY TO THE EAST
HESSE, Hermann. The Journey to the East. London: Peter Owen Vision Press, (1956). Small octavo (5 by 7-1/2 inches), original black paper boards, original dust jacket. $1100.
First edition in English of Nobel Laureate Hermann Hesse's profoundly intimate and magical novel that explores the boundaries between life and art, first published in German as the Nazis rose to power.
Begun in 1930 and completed in 1931, Hesse's Journey to the East, issued in German as Die Morgenlandfahrt (1932) "is, as it were, an overture… a book in which the limits of time and space, the barriers that separate life and fiction, illusion and reality are lifted" (Zeller, Hermann Hesse). In this spiritual odyssey, where Hesse "allowed his imagination to both mystify and enchant… the East is not a geographic destination, but… an immaterial and timeless realm of light and wonder where soul and mind prevail, a Platonic reality beyond the wanting reality of the physical world." It is also profoundly Hesse's story, one in which the narrator, H.H., is "what Hesse at the time was, undisguised even in name" (Mileck, Hermann Hesse, 217-24). The book's "notion that one might believe in a different reality, and by writing about it, bring it one step close to coming true, was to figure as the motto of the Glass Bead Game [Das Glasperlenspiel, 1943]" (Companion to the Work of Hermann Hesse, 5). Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946 for an "achievement which presents throughout the image of a good man in his struggle, following his calling with rare faithfulness, who in a tragic epoch succeeded in bearing the arms of true humanism" (Nobel Award Ceremony Speech). Precedes the 1957 first American edition. Featuring the translation of Hilda Rosner, who also translated Hesse's novel, Siddhartha. Owner inscription.
Book fine; light edge-wear to colorful near-fine dust jacket.