I was tormented not so much because I had stolen, but because I had damaged a beautiful moth. ”So that's who you are” Hermann Hesse "Schmetterlinge"（Das Nachtpfauenauge）
A specimen of a living thing, as a butterfly, is not a living entity, but remains essential. Specimens are available both as research material and as objects of taste. For Heinrich, it was a favorite hobby. For Heinrich, it was a favorite hobby. The story is so famous that it appears in Japanese textbooks, in a chapter of Hermann Hesse’s short story “Das Nachtpfauenauge” (Schmetterlinge) (1911). The guest in the first person “I” is Heinrich Mohr, and most of the story is about the man’s memories. The book consists of nine pieces of prose on the subject of butterflies and moths by Hermann Hesse, eleven poems and one post-scriptum by writer Volker Micheles.
Heinrich started collecting butterflies and was captivated by them when he was ten years old in his second year of collection. The mere sight of a butterfly was enough to send him into a state of ecstasy and he had no choice but to keep his collection in an old cardboard box. However, his friends put them in nice display cases for specimens, and he gradually ceased to show them to his friends and began to show them only to his sister.
He succeeds in catching the rare ‘Apatura metis’. He spreads the wings and completes the specimen in a ball box. He wants to show it to the neighboring boy, his is Emile. The boy was the son of a school teacher and lived in the neighbourhood. Although its specimens were few themselves, unlike Heinrich, the specimens of Emil were magnificent. And he had a high level of expertise in the production and restoration of specimens. Heinrich was jealous of him, but he was an admirer. Heinrich showed Emil the Apatura Metis and, in the beginning, praised them. However, he noted various shoddy management practices. Then he stopped showing them to Emil. Two years later, Emil was hearsay that he had picked up “Das Nachtpfauenauge”.
Heinrich learned through hearsay that he had collected “Das Nachtpfauenauge. It was the moth that Heinrich had been pining for. He went to the house next door and knocked, but there was no answer from Emil. He went into the room without permission to see the moth, and saw. Das Nachtpfauenauge” This moth was so beautiful that he forgot about it and stole it. He soon came to his senses and returned the moth to his room, but it had lost its form.
When Heinrich went back to Emile’s, he found Emile telling him someone had broken his Das Nachtpfauenauge. Wishing to have attempted to restore “Das Nachtpfauenauge” to the best of its ability, but in vain. Heinrich apologized, but Emil, did not forgive him or get angry,
He said ”So that’s who you are” and He despises.
Emil said the botched management of Heinrich’s butterflies seemed like the essence of who he was.
When Heinrich returned home, his mother was kind to him, but he crushed the butterfly and moth specimens he had collected with his fingers.
The specimens of butterflies and moths existed as essences, while they had a form, but in broken them, the essence and the phenomenon became confluents. A specimen is only significant when there is a form. Emile’s argument was essential. A Specimen of butterfly preserved only by feelings and passions was unworthy of existence. ” Must be beautiful,” Heinrich understands the meaning of the word. Because butterflies and moths are dead twice. The first death for the specimen, the second death for Heinrich’s ego, He couldn’t even keep the first death alive, which would have eroded his self-worth as a collector.
When an association of ideas takes up residence in the psyche in the form of a parasite, it becomes detached and isolated in the psyche when it grows up. Heinrich never collected any more butterflies.
If he hadn’t spoken to Emile before he broke Emile’s specimens and before he entered the house without permission？ the boy’s heart would have been purely in collecting butterflies.
It is impossible to come back to this passion. He won’t be able to go back.
The passion for butterflies and moths was one of the things which made Heinrich’s personality so beloved. But the personality of the beloved child always became sinful when Emil’s despised came to mind.
Where’s the broken butterflies now?
When reminded of that, he could not avoid the ugliness of his past. But it is something that is not inherently to be feared. That is how boys accumulate to become adults.
Leaving behind the touch of scales, the phenomenon beat wings and became Heinrich’s metaphysical form.
That’s just like a specimen.
Philosophy “Essence” and “Phenomena”