Hermann Hesse

(2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962 / Calw, Württemberg)

Quotations

  • ''To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning. It is a very serious task, young man, and possibly a tragic one.''
    Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Father Jacobus, in The Glass Bead Game, ch. 4 (1943, trans. 1960).
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  • ''You treat world history as a mathematician does mathematics, in which nothing but laws and formulas exist, no reality, no good and evil, no time, no yesterday, no tomorrow, nothing but an eternal, shallow, mathematical present.''
    Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Father Jacobus, in The Glass Bead Game, ch. 4 (1943, trans. 1960).
  • ''What I always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood of mediocrity.''
    Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. "For Madmen Only," Steppenwolf (1927).
  • ''One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time.''
    Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Frau Eva, in Demian, ch. 5 (1960).
  • ''The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation.''
    Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Letter, 1950. "Montagnola," Hermann Hesse: A Pictorial Biography, ed. Volker Michels (1973).
  • ''In each individual the spirit is made flesh, in each one the whole of creation suffers, in each one a Savior is crucified.''
    Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Narrator (Sinclair), in Demian, prologue (1960).
  • ''In each individual the spirit is made flesh, in each one the whole of creation suffers, in each one a Savior is crucified.''
    Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Sinclair, in Demian, prologue (1960). Sinclair is the narrator.
  • ''I am fond of music I think because it is so amoral. Everything else is moral and I am after something that isn't. I have always found moralizing intolerable.''
    Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Sinclair, in Demian, ch. 5 (1960).
  • ''What I always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood of mediocrity.''
    Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Steppenwolf, "For Madmen Only," (1927).
  • ''Every age, every culture, every custom and tradition has its own character, its own weakness and its own strength, its beauties and cruelties; it accepts certain sufferings as matters of course, puts up patiently with certain evils. Human life is reduced to real suffering, to hell, only when two ages, two cultures and religions overlap.''
    Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Steppenwolf, preface (1927).

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How Heavy The Days

How heavy the days are.
There's not a fire that can warm me,
Not a sun to laugh with me,
Everything bare,
Everything cold and merciless,
And even the beloved, clear
Stars look desolately down,
Since I learned in my heart that
Love can die.


Translated by James Wright


Submitted by Holt

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