Image 0 - Hermann Hesse
Image 1 - Hermann Hesse
Image 2 - Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse

Born in Calw in Württemberg in 1877, his father was Russian with a Baltic background while his mother lived in India, daughter of a preacher and oriental culture scholar: this was an intellectual environment that greatly influenced the writer. From 1881 to 1886 the family lived in Basel. Returning to Germany, Hesse began a tormented cycle of studies, but left the seminary of Maulbronn in 1892. During a period of work he studied intensely on his own. Using his grandfather's rich library, Hesse studied philosophy, theology and poetry in depth. A few years later he was in Tubingen where he worked as a bookseller; afterwards, he moved to Basel. He published his first books of poetry (1899) and took his first trip to Italy (1901). He got married in 1904 and settled in Gaienhofen, on Lake Constance, where his three children were born. He collaborated with journals, held conferences and published his first novel, Peter Camenzind. He had contacts with the Monte Verità community. In 1911 he travelled throughout Ceylon and India. During the first Word War, Hesse was in Bern; his feelings against the wartime events were clear and he worked to help prisoners of war. A difficult period, influenced also by family struggles, brought him to psychoanalysis. He moved to Ticino, in Montagnola, at Camuzzi's house; in 1922 he published his best known work, Siddhartha. He remarried, but this second marriage was to last only a few years. In 1931, after his third wedding, he settled in Casa Rossa. The years in Ticino were stimulating and involved importantmeetings for Hesse: his guests included Brecht, Thomas Mann and Kerényi. His civil and literary dedication earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946. Hesse died in Montagnola in 1962 and is buried in the Gentilino cemetery.


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