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Reviews of Pictor's Metamorphoses and Other Fantasies (1981)

Review by spiphany (2003-11-01)
Several of these stories lend themselves to Jungian interpretations, most notably "The Man of the Forests". Another, "Dream of the Gods", was written shortly before World War I and is a rather chilling and ambiguous story about the return of the god of war. "Lulu" is based in part upon E.T.A. Hoffmann's "The Golden Flowerpot".
The title story (Pictors Verwandlungen in German) isn't entirely captured by the English translation. The beauty of the story comes through, but lacking are the curious little rhymes and wordplay which add an almost whimsical feel to the German text, but which would be difficult to capture in English. The cover illustration for the book is one of Hesse's own watercolor illustrations, with which the story was originally published.

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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