Hermann Hesse

Easton Press Hermann Hesse books

Steppenwolf - Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1991

Franklin Library Hermann Hesse books

Stories of Five Decades by Hermann Hesse - Collected Stories of the World's Greatest Writers - 1984

Hermann Hesse biography

Hermann Hesse (1877–1962) was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, best known for his philosophical and spiritual works. He was born on July 2, 1877, in Calw, in the Kingdom of W├╝rttemberg in the German Empire. Hesse's family had a strong religious and scholarly background, and he initially pursued a career in theology.

However, Hesse struggled with the formal education system, and his rebellious nature led him to leave several schools. Despite these challenges, he began a successful literary career in his early twenties. His early works, such as Peter Camenzind (1904) and Gertrude (1910), were well-received, but he gained international fame with the publication of Siddhartha in 1922. This novel, inspired by Indian philosophy and spirituality, explores the journey of self-discovery and the quest for enlightenment.

One of Hesse's most celebrated works is Steppenwolf (1927), which delves into the psychological struggles of the protagonist, Harry Haller. The novel explores themes of duality, the search for meaning, and the conflict between the individual and society.

Another significant work is The Glass Bead Game (Das Glasperlenspiel or "Magister Ludi"), published in 1943. It is a complex and multifaceted novel set in a future intellectual society, and it won Hesse the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946.

Hesse's writings often reflect his interest in Eastern philosophy, Jungian psychology, and mysticism. His works have been translated into numerous languages and have had a profound impact on readers worldwide. Despite his early struggles with mental health and personal challenges, Hermann Hesse's literary legacy continues to be influential, inspiring readers with its exploration of spiritual and existential themes.


Steppenwolf is a poetical self-portrait of a man who felt himself to be half-human and half-wolf. This Faust-like and magical story is evidence of Hesse's searching philosophy and extraordinary sense of humanity as he tells of the humanization of a middle-aged misanthrope. Yet his novel can also be seen as a plea for rigorous self-examination and an indictment of the intellectual hypocrisy of the period. As Hesse himself remarked, "Of all my books Steppenwolf is the one that was more often and more violently misunderstood than any of the others".

Harry Haller is a sad and lonely figure, a reclusive intellectual for whom life holds no joy. He struggles to reconcile the wild primeval wolf and the rational man within himself without surrendering to the bourgeois values he despises. His life changes dramatically when he meets a woman who is his opposite, the carefree and elusive Hermine. The tale of the Steppenwolf culminates in the surreal Magic Theater For Madmen Only!

At first sight Harry Haller seems a respectable, educated man. In reality he is the Steppenwolf: wild, strange, alienated from society and repulsed by the modern age. But as he is drawn into a series of dreamlike and sometimes savage encounters accompanied by, among others, Mozart, Goethe and the bewitching Hermione the misanthropic Haller discovers a higher truth, and the possibility of happiness.

Originally published in English in 1929, Steppenwolf ’s wisdom continues to speak to our souls and marks it as a classic of modern literature.


Siddhartha is an allegorical novel by Hermann Hesse which deals with the spiritual journey of an Indian boy called Siddhartha during the time of the Buddha. The book was written in German, in a simple, yet powerful and lyrical style. It was first published in 1922, after Hesse had spent some time in India in the 1910s.

Herman Hesse's classic novel has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers. In this story of a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege to seek spiritual fulfillment. Hesse synthesizes disparate philosophies Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism into a unique vision of life as expressed through one man's search for true meaning.

The story revolves around a young man who leaves his home and family on a quest for the Truth. Embarking on a journey that takes him from the austerities of renunciation to the profligacy of wealth. That leads him through the range of human experiences from hunger and want, to passion, pleasure, pain, greed, yearning, boredom, love, despair and hope. A journey that leads finally to the river, where he gains peace and eventually wisdom. This is the story of Siddhartha as told by Nobel Laureate Hermann Hesse in his most influential work.

The story begins as Siddhartha, the son of a Brahmin, leaves his home to join the ascetics with his companion Govinda. The two set out in the search of enlightenment.

Siddhartha goes from asceticism, to a very worldly life as a trader with a lover, and back to asceticism as he attempts to achieve this goal.

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