Hermann Hesse was a novelist, an essayist and a poet, but mainly he was a man who both craved and feared success. Yet he was successful beyond his fondest dreams; he was a literary overachiever. The Nobel Prize for Literature which he was awarded in 1946 was an accolade for a fanatical scribbler who never wanted to do anything more than write.
Hesse's family were pious missionaries who served their faith in India. Hesse's childhood was very difficult, with long parental absences and much moving around between Germany and Switzerland in order to afford the best schooling. After seven months of being alone in a theological school, without parents and siblings nearby, he fled the strict German seminary "to become a writer." Obviously a wrong decision at age 15 leading to fights with his parents and an eventual suicide attempt.
At age 22, he began his serious writing and was employed as a stock clerk in a rare books store. His early novels with their vivid portrayals of nature and small town life were remarkable for their musical prose. His psychological and symbolic bent was already well developed and he insisted that childhood was the only period of human life in which man can live a full life and 'find himself.'
Though married and the father of three sons, he left his family to travel in India, a voyage which eventually led to his phenomenally successful novella Siddharta, containing many autobiographical stories reflecting Hesse's interest in oriental mysticism. But the 'trip' to Hesse's first successful book Demian was a complicated one: divorce,
Name Herman Hesse Date July 2, 1877 Time 18:30 (6:30 PM) LMT Place Calw, Germany Long. 8E44 Lat. 48N43
Source Bio quotes his mother's rliary B
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