From The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse
Compiled by Jack Zipes
Iris is a tribute to a boy’s fascination with a flower he knew as the sword lily, an older man’s deep love and the poignancy of things well known when very young but lost along the way. Hesse’s beautiful use of language in this short story invites us into the depth of the main character’s journey, one we may all take to some degree.
… this was the flower’s mouth, that behind the luxuriant yellow finery in the blue abyss lived her heart and thoughts, and that along this lovely shining path with its glassy veins her breath and dreams flowed to and fro…
This is a tale, an odyssey taken through life of innocent wisdom, distraction, loss—a meandering path that returns to the place it began. Iris will remind us that Hesse is a master storyteller imparting levels of knowledge if we’re ready to receive it. And for those Richard Bach fans it will recall Illusions and others like it.
Iris is a summons to read the complete collection of The Fairy Tales by Herman Hesse. All of the short stories are written between 1904 and 1918. But with titles like The Difficult Path, If the War Continues and A Dream About the Gods, this is also a book for seekers of today. Some things just don’t change.
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