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Hermann Hesse

»I’m a person of becoming and of change« - Letters 1924 - 1932

Edited by Volker Michels
Hermann Hesse
Foto: Hermann Hesse
© Gret Widmann

Hermann Hesse, born in Calw/Württemberg in 1877, died in Montagnola near Lugano, Italy, in August 1962. After an apprenticeship to become a bookseller, he began to work as a freelance author in 1904. In 1946, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and 1955 the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (Peace Prize of the German Book Trade). He is one of the most famous German authors of the 20th century.

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About

The years between 1924 and 1932 once more show Hermann Hesse to be »a person of becoming and of change«. For him, they begin with the experiment of a new (yet short-lived) marriage. The effects of inflation in Germany and the hassle of the foreign exchange transfer in Switzerland concern him, the provider for three sons and their mother, on more than just an existential level. But it’s the political impacts of the currency devaluation that are just as apparent to him: they undermine the new democratic beginning and empower the revanchist forces in Germany, which, treated with contempt by the media, nevertheless court him on the occasion of his 50th birthday.

The way Steppenwolf was created under the pressure of private and historical distress, the way Hesse’s third and last attachment to a passionate reader of his works lead to the calmer spirit of Hesse’s later works, beginning with Narcissus and Goldmund, is depicted nowhere as vividly and impressively as it is in these letters.

Other publications

Magie der Farben/The Magic of Colours (2019)

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Russia (Text); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Japan (Iwanami Shoten), Croatia (Zagrebacka Naklada)

»Eine Bresche ins Dunkel der Zeit!«/»A breach into the darkness of time!« (2015)

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Bäume/Trees (2014)

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Italy (Ugo Guanda), Korea (Changbi), Japan (Asahi), Turkey (Kolektif)

»Aus dem Traurigen etwas Schönes machen«/»To make something beautiful out of the sad« (2013)

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»Ich gehorche nicht und werde nicht gehorchen!«/»I am not and will not be obedient!« (2012)

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Schmetterlinge/Butterflies (2011)

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Korea (Moonye)

Das Glasperlenspiel/The Glass Bead Game (1943)

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Narziß und Goldmund/Narcissus and Goldmund (1930)

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Siddhartha/Siddhartha (1922)

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Knulp/Knulp (1915)

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Roßhalde/Rosshalde (1914)

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Gertrud/Gertrude (1910)

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Unterm Rad/Beneath the Wheel (1906)

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Peter Camenzind/Peter Camenzind (1904)

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