Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth is a Bildungsroman
In literary criticism, bildungsroman or coming-of-age story is a literary genre which focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood , and in which character change is thus extremely important...

 by Hermann Hesse
Hermann Hesse
Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature...

, first published in 1919
1919 in literature
The year 1919 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Winifred Holtby and Vera Brittain return to Somerville College, Oxford, to complete their education following war service.*Two paintings by E. E...

; a prologue was added in 1960
1960 in literature
The year 1960 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*November 2 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case in the United Kingdom....

. Demian was first published under the pseudonym "Emil Sinclair", the name of the narrator of the story, but Hesse was later revealed to be the author.
Emil Sinclair is a young boy raised in a bourgeois home, amidst what is described as a Scheinwelt, a play on words that means "world of light" as well as "world of illusion".

(from the Prologue) "But every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again. That is why every man's story is important, eternal, sacred; that is why every man, as long as he lives and fulfills the will of nature, is wondrous, and worthy of consideration."

I was only trying to live my life in accordance with the principles which sprang from my own true self. Why was that so very difficult?

He who wants to be born must destroy a world.

In each individual the spirit is made flesh, in each one the whole of creation suffers, in each one a Savior is crucified.

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.

One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time.

Only the ideas we actually live are of any value.

Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak surrender to them, don't ask first whether it's permitted or would please your teachers or father, or some god. You will ruin yourself if you do that.

Live those dreams, play with them, build altars to them. It is not yet the ideal, but it points in the right direction.