Hermann Hesse Biography | Author of Siddhartha

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Born in Calw, Germany, in 1877, Hermann Hesse was influenced by his family's mix of background and beliefs. His father, a Pietist-Lutheran, believed that man is basically evil and requires austere discipline. His parents and grandparents had been missionaries in India and the Far East, and their homes yielded the flavors of Indian, Buddhist, and Mohammedan cultures. Hesse said, "From the time I was a child I breathed in and absorbed the spiritual side of India just as deeply as Christianity."

Hypersensitive, imaginative, and headstrong, Hermann behaved rebelliously while yearning to be a poet and magician. School authorities doubted his sanity, and he even fared poorly at schools for mentally challenged and emotionally disturbed children. Instead, he stayed at home, gardening, assisting in his father's publishing house, and reading books on Eastern philosophy and religion in his grandfather's library.

In 1899, Hesse, who had become something of a misfit, moved...

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This section contains 503 words
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Buy the Siddhartha Study Guide
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Siddhartha from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.