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).
    26 person liked.
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  • ''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).
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  • ''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).
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  • ''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).
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  • ''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).
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  • ''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.
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  • ''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).
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  • ''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

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,
You sailors who must live
Unstarred by hopelessness,
We share a single face.
Give me my welcome back.



Translated by James Wright


Submitted by Holt

Read the full of Lonesome Night

Lying In Grass

Is this everything now, the quick delusions of flowers,
And the down colors of the bright summer meadow,
The soft blue spread of heaven, the bees' song,
Is this everything only a god's
Groaning dream,
The cry of unconscious powers for deliverance?
The distant line of the mountain,
That beautifully and courageously rests in the blue,
Is this too only a convulsion,

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