Hermann Hesse

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

Hermann Hesse Quotes

  • ''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 constitutes a real, live human being is more of a mystery than ever these days, and men—each one of whom is a valuable, unique experiment on the part of nature—are shot down wholesale.''
    Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. The narrator (Sinclair), in Demian, prologue (1960).

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Best Poem of Hermann Hesse

Stages

As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.

The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to ...

Read the full of Stages

Lonesome Night

You brothers, who are mine,
Poor people, near and far,
Longing for every star,
Dream of relief from pain,
You, stumbling dumb
At night, as pale stars break,
Lift your thin hands for some
Hope, and suffer, and wake,
Poor muddling commonplace,

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