“Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity.”-Hermann Hesse
I must’ve been around 12 when I read Siddhartha (first published 1922, I had the New Directions publication from 1951) for the first time. Probably read it after my mom and/or brother did, it was like that in my house…no matter the age, I read what they read. After that I read Steppenwolf, but don’t think I’ve read his other works. Hesse won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946 and you can read his bio in his own words here.
Hermann Hesse was born July 2nd, 1877 in Germany. How coincidental of me discovering that it is his birthday today and that his maternal grandfather was an “indologist,” scholar in all things pertaining to India; remember, I mentioned my son is leaving soon to teach and live in India for 2 years!!!!! I also learned a new word, “indologist!” Both Hesse’s parents did some missionary work in India as well.
“Throughout his life, Hermann Hesse was a seeker. This is reflected not only in his outstanding literary works, which in 1946 won him the Nobel Prize, but also in his resume. In his home town of Calw, where he was born on July 2, 1877, he spent his youth in the bosom of his family – formative years that found their way into many of his books. Maulbronn, Tübingen and Basel were among the other places Hesse lived. In 1904, he moved to an old farmhouse in Gaienhofen on Lake Constance to embark on a career as a freelance writer. In 1911, he made a journey to India, and moved to Switzerland a short time later, living first in Berne and later in Montagnola (Tessin), where he entered his most prolific period as a writer, and where he also died in 1962. The task of overcoming personal crises is one of the defining elements of Hesse’s work, though other issues such as religion and politics also feature prominently.”– http://www.hermann-hesse.de/en/biography