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Hesse, Hermann

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ha-Ke)

(German, 1877–1962)

Hesse worked as a bookseller before he became a writer. He moved to Switzerland in protest against German militarism in the First World War, and remained there after his works were banned by the Nazis. In 1946 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Throughout his books shines his belief in the value of the individual; readers speak of Hesse's novels awakening their own spiritual life. The Glass Bead Game (1943) is a complex vision of a society devoted to education and the intellect. Narziss and Goldmund (1930) tells the story of two friends, one devoted to the world and the flesh, the other to a monastic life of prayer and study. Steppenwolf (1927) is a surreal tale of how a disenchanted intellectual learns how to live, and love, at the hands of the hedonistic socialite Hermione.

Heinrich Böll, Knut Hamsun.

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