After attending various schools, including the Protestant church school at Maulbronn from which he fled, Hermann Hesse became an apprentice in a tower-clock factory in 1894; later he became an apprentice in the book trade. In 1904, he became a freelance writer and contributed to a number of journals and newspapers. From 1907 to 1912, he was coeditor of the journal März (March). In 1911, he traveled to Ceylon, Sumatra, and Malaya, although because of illness he did not actually visit India itself. In 1912, he moved to Switzerland. A nervous breakdown in 1916 led to psychotherapy sessions in 1916-1917 with Dr. J. B. Lang, a student of Carl Jung. In 1919, he moved to Montagnola in Swiss Ticino, where he lived for the rest of his life, and in the same year he began painting seriously. He was analyzed by Jung in 1921. Hesse’s pacifism during World Wars I and II led to sharp criticism from his fellow compatriots. Hesse died in 1962.
Hermann Hesse was born on July 2, 1877, in Calw, Germany, the son of Johannes Hesse, a Baltic-born Pietist missionary, and Marie Hesse (née Gundert), the eldest daughter of the missionary and scholar of Indic languages Hermann Gundert. From 1881 to 1886, Hesse lived with his parents in Basel, Switzerland, where his father taught at the Basel Mission School, but in 1886, Hesse returned to Calw to attend elementary school. During the academic year 1890-1891, Hesse was a pupil at the Göppingen Latin school, where he prepared to take the rigorous state examinations for entrance to one of Württemberg’s four church schools. He passed, and in the fall of 1891 he was sent to the seminary in Maulbronn. There the young Hesse was...
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Hermann Hesse (HEH-suh) was born in Calw, Württemberg, Germany, on July 2, 1877, to Johannes and Marie Hesse. The family moved to Basel, Switzerland, in 1881, where Hesse acquired Swiss citizenship. He returned to Calw in 1889, and in 1890 and 1891 he attended Latin school in Göppingen in order to prepare himself for the Württemberg regional examinations. To qualify he had to renounce his Swiss citizenship. In 1891 and 1892, he was a student at the seminary in Maulbronn, which he left after seven months because he wanted to be a writer. In 1892, he underwent exorcism treatments in Bad Boll, attempted suicide, spent three months in a clinic for nervous diseases at Stetten, and was admitted to the Gymnasium in Cannstatt. Over the...
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Hermann Hesse’s works are all fragments of a long confession, reflecting a single human being and his relation to the world and to his own self. Although they are primarily concerned with self-recognition and self-realization, these spiritual autobiographies deal with the human condition in general. They have a mystical quality in the way Hesse traces the quest for identity in a universe that is either hostile or indifferent. Yet the quest is not undertaken within the dogma of an established religion, for then obedience to an established law would suffice. To Hesse, one finds the way according to one’s own inner law.
Hermann Hesse (HEHS-uh), one of the most popular novelists of twentieth century world literature, was the second of six children of Johannes Hesse and Marie Gundert, who were extremely religious former missionaries to India. In his youth, he was a sensitive, headstrong child who rebelled against schooling and a trade until he was permitted to serve as a book dealer’s apprentice in Tübingen. There he found time to read widely, educating himself in the process, and to write his own poetry and prose. Because much of Hesse’s fiction derives directly from his own experiences and is confessional in nature, scholars have identified three distinct stages in his development.
The first phase, clearly seen in the characters...
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Hermann Hesse was born in Calw, a picturesque village in the Black Forest. He was the grandson of a publisher of religious tracts and the son of devout missionaries from the Pietists, an evangelical Protestant sect. His father, Johannes Hesse, was a German, born the son of a physician in Estonia (then part of the Russian Empire), and his mother Marie Gundert Hesse, a widow with two sons, was also of German heritage, though she had been born in India, where her father Hermann Gundert, a scholarly linguist, had preached.
A precocious child, young Hesse was difficult to handle and particularly acted out during the five years (1881-1886) when the Hesse family lived in Basle, Switzerland. After they returned to Calw, Hesse...
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