german author (and nobel prize winner) hermann hesse was born 133 years ago today, on july 2, 1877. he died almost 50 years ago, on august 9, 1962, in switzerland. while hesse may no longer be a household name these days, i was (and still am) a huge fan of his work. "steppenwolf," "siddhartha," and "demian" are on my list of all time favorite novels. back in my college days i also read "narccissus and goldmund" and "the glass bead game."
hesse (who was also a poet and essayist) is hard to classify. a good short-hand brief would be to say that his work focused on the individual's search for meaning (both spiritual and self-actualization). hesse was a proponent of eastern thought decades before it reached our western consciousness. i consider him a must-read author.
here is one of my favorite hesse quotes:
"without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity."