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Hermann Hesse Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Peter Camenzind (1904) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Beneath the Wheel aka The Prodigy (1906) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gertrude (1910) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rosshalde (1914) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Knulp (1915) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Demian (1919) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Klingsor's Last Summer (1920) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Siddhartha (1922) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Steppenwolf (1927) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Narcissus and Goldmund (1930) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Journey to the East (1932) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Glass Bead Game aka Magister Ludi (1943) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Poems (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Stories of Five Decades (1972) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hours in the Garden (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Siddhartha, Demian, and Other Writings (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

If the War Goes On... (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Reflections (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Hesse / Mann Letters (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Hermann Hesse was a highly noteworthy author from Germany, who was famous for writing fiction, mystery novels, and essays. He was also a renowned poet, painter, essayist, and short story writer. Author Hesse was born as Hermann Karl Hesse on July 2, 1877 in Calw, Wurttemberg, Germany. Among his best known works, there are novels like Steppenwolf, The Glass Bead Game, Denmian, Siddhartha, etc. The specialty about Hesse’s novels is that they seem to explore the search of individual for self knowledge, spirituality, and authenticity. Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1946 for his contribution in the field of literature. He had also received the Goethe Prize in the same year.

The grandparents of author Hesse had served under the Basel Mission in India. His grandfather in particular, played an important role in compiling the grammar of the Malyalam language and forming a Malayalam to English dictionary. He was even involved in the translation of the Bible into the language of Malayalam. Author Hesse’s father, Johannes Hesse, was born in Paide and belonged to the minority group of Germans in the Baltic region ruled by the Russians. Thus, when author Hesse was born, he was the citizen of both the Russian and German Empires. There were in all 5 siblings of author Hesse, but 2 had died as infants. Hesse and his family shifted to Calw in 1873, where his father started working for a publishing house called Calwer Verlagsverein.

This publishing house was managed by the father of Hesse’s mother. And after him, the management fell on the shoulders of Hesse’s father. During his earlier years, Hesse was brought up in the household of a Swabian Pietist.

It was the tendency of the Pietists to insulate people into small, thoughtful groups, one of which Hesse’s father also became a part of. According to Hesse, his father was more like a polite, little-understood, lonely, and foreign guest. The stories of his father from Estonia added a contrasting religious sense in Hesse’s young mind. He felt that the world at that time was kind of cheerful and merry. From his childhood days, author Hesse was hard to handle and headstrong. His mother used to think of him as having a powerful will, and unbelievable strength at just 4 years of age. She was always worried about how he is going to shape his life after growing up.

She used to pray to God to help him become a responsible person and leave his passionate turbulence and tyrannical temperament. Hesse studied at a Latin School for some time and then joined the Evangelical-Theological Seminary in 1891. The first few months at the seminary went very well for Hesse as he enjoyed translating Greek poem into German and writing essays.

But soon, he started suffering from a personal crisis. His rebellious and short-tempered character started taking root in him, making him run away to a field at some distance from the seminary. After this instance, Hesse went through a series of schools and institutions, having the same attitude and going through similar problems with his character. He even began having conflicts and quarrels with his parents. An attempted suicide later forced his parents to admit him to a mental hospital. However, things started turning good for him shortly after and he started showing signs of improvement.

In 1895, Hesse started working in a bookshop that allowed him to have access to specialized collections of philology, law, and theology. Hesse used to spend his spare times at the bookshop in developing his own work. His interest grew even more as the days went by and he used to keep himself indulged in reading books rather than roaming with friends. Hesse began following the works of reputed authors of German Romantics like Joseph von Eichendorff, Novalis, Clemens Brentano, and Friedrich Holderlin, and took inspirations from them to come up with his own novels. In the next few years, Hesse wrote and published several successful novels and went on to establish himself as a prominent author. His works are well regarded even today. The death of author Hesse occurred on August 2, 1962 in Montagnola, Ticino, Switzerland.

His books, Siddhartha and Steppenwolf, have been adapted into movies on multiple occasions during the 1970s, which have also been quite successful. A theater located in Chicago has been named after Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf, the Steppenwolf Theater, in his memory. There are a number of schools named after Hesse throughout Germany. The government of Germany also founded the Calwer Hermann Hesse Preis. This awarded every 2 years to a German literary journal, or to the one who translates the works of Hesse in a foreign language in the best possible way. One more prize is named after author Hesse that is associated with the Karlsruhe city.

An initial and successful novel that author Hermann Hesse wrote in his career is entitled ‘Siddhartha’. This book was published in 1981 by the Bantam Books, after its first release in 1922. The book’s German manuscript was translated into English by Hilda Rosner. Hesse has set the story in India and has mentioned the lead characters as Siddhartha, Kamala, Govinda, Vasudeva, and Gotama. The plot deals with the story of a rich Indian Brahmin man, who leaves behind his privileged life and wealth for seeking spiritual fulfillment. This classic novel inspired, influenced, and delighted generations of writers, thinkers, and readers. In describing the book’s story, the author has synthesized disparate philosophies of Jungian archetypes, Eastern religions, and Western individualism. And the outcome of all this is a unique and excellent vision of life as seen through the search of a man for meaning, fulfillment, and eternal satisfaction.

Another excellent novel written by Hesse in his literary career is called ‘Steppenwolf’. It was released by the Penguin publication in 1999 after its initial publication in 1927. The primary characters of this novel include Harry Haller, Hermine, Mariecke, and Pablo Soler. The storyline of this novel is described in the form of a self portrait of an individual, who thinks of himself being half human and half wolf. The magical Faust-like story makes it evidently clear that author Hesse always tried to search for extraordinary humanity sense and philosophy. With this story, he has tried to describe the humanization of that time. The book can also be considered as Hesse’s plea for indictment of intellectual hypocrisy and rigorous self examination of that period. Author Hesse has often said about this book that of all the books written by him, Steppenwolf is the one that was more violently and most often misunderstood by the readers and the critics. But, in spite of this, the book fared well in different parts of the world.

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