First published in 1919 under the pseudonyn Emil Sinclair, Demian follows the life of a troubled German youth as he navigates the duality of a world filled with illusions and spiritual truth. When Sinclair first meets childhood classmate Max Demian, his eyes are opened to the contradictions of his existing Christian knowledge. As Sinclair continues to question his worldview, the two friends are separated and reunited throughout their lives, with each encounter being a vantage for Sinclair to reconcile a world at discord. He ascends on his path to freedom and a realization of self as the friendship evolves in surprising and explosive ways.
Demian is a classic coming-of-age story that continues to inspire generations of readers in its exploration of good and evil, morality, and self-discovery.
Steppenwolf is Hesse's best-known and most autobiographical work. With its blend of Eastern mysticism and Western culture, it is one of literature's most poetic evocations of the soul's journey to liberation. Originally published in English in 1929, the novel's wisdom continues to speak to our souls and marks it as a classic of modern literature.
This edition features a Foreword by Theodore Ziolkowski that places the book in the full context of Hesse's thought.
In simple, mesmerizing prose, Hermann Hesse's Journey to the East tells of a journey both geographic and spiritual. H.H., a German choirmaster, is invited on an expedition with the League, a secret society whose members include Paul Klee, Mozart, and Albertus Magnus. The participants traverse both space and time, encountering Noah's Ark in Zurich and Don Quixote at Bremgarten. The pilgrims' ultimate destination is the East, the "Home of the Light," where they expect to find spiritual renewal.
Yet the harmony that ruled at the outset of the trip soon degenerates into open conflict. Each traveler finds the rest of the group intolerable and heads off in his own direction, with H.H. bitterly blaming the others for the failure of the journey. It is only long after the trip, while poring over records in the League archives, that H.H. discovers his own role in the dissolution of the group, and the ominous significance of the journey itself.
Knulp is an amiable vagabond who wanders from town to town, staying with friends who feed and shelter him. Consistently refusing to tie himself down to any trade, place, or person, he even deserts the companion who might be considered Hermann Hesse himself the summer they go tramping together.
Knulp's exile is blissful, gentle, self-absorbed. But hidden beneath the light surface of these "Tales from the Life of Knulp" is the conscience of an artist who suspects that his liberation is worthless, even immoral. As he lies dying in a snowstorm, Knulp has an interview with God in which he reproaches himself for his wasted life. But it is revealed to Knulp that the whole purpose of his life has been to bring "a little homseickness for freedom" into the lives of ordinary men.
The new note so clear in Demian was first sounded, Hesse believed, in some of these tales written during the years 1913 to 1918, the period that brought him into conflict with supporters of the war, with his country and its government, with conventional intellectual life, with every form of orthodoxy both in the world and in himself. Unlike his earlier work, from Peter Camenzind through Knulp, the stories in Strange News from Another Star do not allow for an essentially realistic interpretation. They are concerned with dream worlds, the subconscious, magical thinking, and the numinous experience of the soul. Their subject is the distilling of wisdom.
The eight stories are "Augustus," "The Poet," "Flute Dream," "Strange News from Another Star," "The Hard Passage," "A Dream Sequence," "Faldum," and--perhaps the masterpiece of this collection--"Iris."
Johann Veraguth, a wealthy, successful artist, is estranged from his wife and stifled by the unhappy union. Veraguth's love for his young son and his fear of drifting rootlessly keep him bound within the walls of his opulent estate, Rosshalde. Yet, when he is shaken by an unexpected tragedy, Veraguth finally finds the courage to leave the desolate safety of Rosshalde and travels to India to discover himself anew.