Hermann Hesse

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Hesse, Hermann

(hĕr`män hĕs`ə), 1877–1962, German novelist and poet. A pacifist, he went to Switzerland at the outbreak of World War I and became (1923) a Swiss citizen. The spiritual loneliness of the artist and his estrangement from the modern world are recurring themes in Hesse's works. His novels, increasingly psychoanalytic and symbolic, include Peter Camenzind (1904, tr. 1961), Unterm Rad (1906, tr. Beneath the Wheel, 1968), Rosshalde (1914, tr. 1970), and Demian (1919, tr. 1923, 1958). One of his most famous and most complex novels, Steppenwolf (1927, tr. 1929, 1963), treats the dual nature of humanity. This theme is also pursued in Narziss und Goldmund (1930, tr. Death and the Lover, 1932; Narcissus and Goldmund, 1968).

Among his other works are Das Glasperlenspiel (1943, tr. The Glass Bead Game, 1970) and Siddhartha (1922, tr. 1951), a novella reflecting Hesse's interest in Asian mysticism. The gentle, lyric quality of Hesse's prose is shared by the wistful, lamenting verse of his Gedichte (1922, tr. Poems, 1970) and Trost der Nacht (1929). His essays are collected in Betrachtungen (1928) and Krieg und Frieden (1946, tr. If the War Goes on… , 1970). Hesse was awarded the 1946 Nobel Prize in Literature.


See his Wandering (autobiographical notes, tr. 1972); studies by R. Rose (1965), T. Ziolowski (1965 and 1966), M. Boulby (1967), G. W. Field (1972), J. Mileck (1978), R. Freedman (1979), and E. L. Stelzig (1988).

Hesse, Hermann


Born July 2, 1877, in Calw, Württemberg; died Aug. 9, 1962, in Montagnola, Switzerland. German writer.

Hesse lived in Switzerland from 1912. He was a pacifist during World War I. After World War II, Hesse renounced fascism, calling for the consolidation of peace and attacking the rebirth of revanchism and militarism in West Germany.

In the novel Peter Camenzind (1904; Russian translation, 1910), Hesse portrays the bitter fate of an artist in a world where profit and success are the only ideals. The novel Demian (1919) and the novella Klein and Wagner (1920) reveal the influence of C. G. Jung’s depth psychology in their treatment of the individual’s self-realization. In the novel Steppenwolf (1927; Russian translation, 1977), the destructive forces of bourgeois civilization are overcome by means of art and humor. Hess summed up his moral reflections in the Utopian novel Magister Ludi (also published as The Glass Bead Game; 1943; Russian translation, 1969), concluding that a leading cultural figure must not remain aloof from reality, even when he does not accept it.

Hesse also wrote verse cycles, short stories, critical essays, and publicist articles on contemporary themes. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1946.


Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1–12. Frankfurt am Main, 1970.
Hermann Hesse und Romain Rolland: Briefe. Zürich, 1954.
Briefe, erweiterte Ausgabe. Frankfurt am Main, 1965.
Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann: Briefwechsel. Frankfurt am Main, 1968.
In Russian translation:
Monakh. St. Petersburg, 1912.
Okol’nyeputi: Rasskazy. Moscow, 1913.
Tropa mudrosti. Leningrad-Moscow, 1924.


Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 5. Moscow, 1976. Pages 511–27.
Sedel’nik, V. D. German Gesse i shveitsarskaia literatura. Moscow, 1970.
Böttger, F. Hermann Hesse: Leben, Werk, Zeit. Berlin, 1974.
Bareiss, O. Hermann Hesse: Eine Bibliographie der Werke, vols. 1–2. Basel, 1962–64.


References in periodicals archive ?
In a remark that was perhaps less a naive belief in the power of literature to save humanity from its own catastrophes than a reflection on the unbridgeable distance between Walser's unique sensibility and the cultural climates that evolved during the rise of Nazi Germany and in the aftermath of the war, Hermann Hesse once claimed that "if poets like Robert Walser could be counted among our foremost intellects, there wouldn't be any war.
The 500 year old house in TE-bingen's old town, which is to accommodate the literature museum, has been closely associated with the history of Hermann Hesse for many years.
He was a friend of the novelist and poet Hermann Hesse, and set many of Hesse's poems to music.
Country of Ludwig van Beethoven, Martin Luther, Albert Einstein, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, Bertolt Brecht, Max Planck, Hermann von Helmholtz, Joseph von Fraunhofer, Gottfried Leibniz, Friedrich Schiller, Brothers Grimm, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, University of Heidelberg, about 103 Nobel laureates, Oktoberfest, etc.
The philosophical quest and questioning may remind us of Rene Daumal or Hermann Hesse, but this is no spiritual bildungsroman.
The piece was created from four poems, At Sunset by Joseph von Eichendorff and Spring, September and Going to Sleep by Hermann Hesse, composed for a soprano and orchestra.
A la fin de la principale partie du celebre roman de Hermann Hesse, Le Jeu des perles de verre, le personnage principal, Joseph Valet, meurt soudainement.
Other writers analysed in the broad and deep span of this study include: Butor (L'Emploi du temps, where Manchester/Bleston, the ironically named Blessed Town, plays a central role), Steinbeck (East of Eden), Hermann Hesse (Demian), Unamuno (Abel Sanchez), various dramatists of the Sturm und Drang, as well as, of course, much industrious biblical exegesis, medieval moralities, and Romantic inversions.
Harvard Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein, reading the quote from Hermann Hesse engraved on the first Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism presented to Salmon Rushdie on Friday, April 20, 2007
IN HIS SHORT STORY "Inside and Outside" (1920), about a little idol that ruptures a friendship, Hermann Hesse revealed his life's philosophy: "Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it.
Entre las obras traducidas figuran escritores tan importantes y conocidos como Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Heinrich Boll, Erich Maria Remarque, Anna Seghers, Bertolt Brecht, Heiner Muller, Volker Braun, Christa Wolf, Peter Handke, Elias Canetti, Ingeborg Bachmann, Max Frisch, etc.