Hermann Hesse

Born in Germany but a Swiss citizen from 1923 Hermann Hesse was a headstrong child, prone to bouts of depression, his family moved to Basel in Switzerland when he was four. much of his teen schooling was in an evangelical abbey, although initially happy, he began to rebel and miss lessons, he spent time in a boys institution after attempting suicide. on completing his education he wrote poetry and worked at a bookshop who decided to publish his work, this led to a publishing deal.

His work was only popular and influential in the German speaking world during his lifetime, international fame came later, particularly in America where it was championed by the 60’s hippie movement, his novel Siddhartha is one of the most popular western novels set in India

While Hitler was suppressing art and literature that protested Nazi ideology he aided Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Mann travel into exile. Although he never openly condemned the Nazis they banned his work.

He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946 three years after publication of his last major work, The Glass Bead Game.

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