Reflections, Tales, and Verse

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Hermann Hesse

Selected by Volker Michels

Illustrations by Jakob Hübner

Translated from the German by Elisabeth Lauffer

“A charming book for nature and literature lovers….leaving audiences feeling as lucky to encounter it as Hesse felt about meeting his winged subjects.”

“As long as people struggle with the need to be themselves, and the difficulty of doing so, he will be a living presence—which is even better, perhaps, than being a great writer. ”
—The New Yorker, praise for Hermann Hesse

This elegant collection of writings on butterflies and nature reveals Hermann Hesse’s inspired thoughts on change and its effects on our sense of beauty, soul, and wonderment. Joined with the artistry of Jakob Hübner, whose precise and beautiful engraved copper chalcography technique was among Mr. Hesse’s favorites, Butterflies: Reflections, Tales, and Verse inspires a window through which to see a butterfly’s cycle of life as also being a representation of our own transitions.

Hermann Hesse was born in 1877 in Calw, Germany. He rose to become a celebrated author and the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. As the son of missionaries, he developed a fascination with self-discovery and spiritual explorations, an interest also likely due in part to his lifelong struggle with depression, which led him to study Sigmund Freud and, later, to undergo psychoanalysis with Carl Jung. In 1912 he moved to Switzerland, where he wrote his best-known books, including the classic Siddhartha; composed poetry; and painted landscapes. He passed away in 1962 in Montagnola, Switzerland. Hesse is one of the most widely translated authors of the twentieth century; his work continues to have influence worldwide.

Volker Michels, the world’s foremost authority on Hermann Hesse’s work, manages the Nobel laureate’s literary and artistic estate. Jakob Hübner (1761–1826) was a German painter, designer, and entomologist acclaimed for his colorful copper engravings illustrating natural wonders. Elisabeth Lauffer is the translator of more than twenty books from German. She is the recipient of numerous honors including the Gutekunst Prize.

Hardcover | cloth
5 x 7 inches | 136 pages | 110 full-color engraved copper illustrations 
ISBN-13: 979-8-9859558-5-9
Price: US $30.00 | Nature May 2023

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