Hermann Hesse

1877 - 1962

Photo of Hermann Hesse

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Hermann Karl Hesse (German: [ˈhɛʁman ˈhɛsə] ; 2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. Although Hesse was born in Germany's Black Forest region of Swabia, his father's celebrated heritage as a Baltic German and his grandmother's French-Swiss roots had an intellectual influence on him. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Hermann Hesse has received more than 4,029,597 page views. His biography is available in 113 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 108 in 2019). Hermann Hesse is the 40th most popular writer (down from 39th in 2019), the 32nd most popular biography from Germany and the 4th most popular German Writer.

Hermann Hesse is most famous for his book, "Demian: The Story of a Youth," which was published in 1919.

Memorability Metrics

  • 4.0M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 81.01

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 113

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 12.71

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.77

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

Der Steppenwolf
Fiction, German fiction, Western civilization in fiction
Alegorías, Buddha (The concept), Buddha and Buddhism
Hermann Hesse wrote Siddhartha after he traveled to India in the 1910s. It tells the story of a young boy who travels the country in a quest for spiritual enlightenment in the time of Guatama Buddha. It is a compact, lyrical work, which reads like an allegory about the finding of wisdom.
Narziss und Goldmund
Teacher-student relationships, Fiction, Romance
First published in 1930, Narcissus and Goldmund is the story of two diametrically opposite men: one, an ascetic monk firm in his religious commitment, and the other, a romantic youth hungry for worldly experience. Hesse was a great writer in precisely the modern sense: complex, subtle, allusive: alive to the importance of play. Narcissus and Goldmund is his very best. What makes this short book so limitlessly vast is the body-and-soul-shaking debate that runs through it, which it has the honesty and courage not to resolve: between the flesh and spirit, art and scientific or religious speculation, action and contemplation.
Peter Camenzind
German language materials, Innocence (Psychology), Fiction
Unterm Rad
Fiction, Child psychopathology, Gifted children
Teenage boys, Translations into English, Bildungsromans
A young man awakens to selfhood and to a world of possibilities beyond the conventions of his upbringing in Nobel Prize winner Hermann Hesse’s beloved novel Demian. Emil Sinclair is a quiet boy drawn into a forbidden yet seductive realm of petty crime and defiance. His guide is his precocious, mysterious classmate Max Demian, who provokes in Emil a search for self-discovery and spiritual fulfillment. A brilliant psychological portrait, Demian is given new life in this translation, which together with James Franco’s personal and inspiring foreword will bring a new generation to Hesse’s widely influential coming-of-age novel.


Among writers, Hermann Hesse ranks 40 out of 7,302Before him are Anne Frank, Selma Lagerlöf, Alexander Pushkin, Friedrich Schiller, H. P. Lovecraft, and Charles Dickens. After him are Charles Baudelaire, Émile Zola, Stendhal, Euripides, Gustave Flaubert, and Aristophanes.

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Among people born in 1877, Hermann Hesse ranks 1After him are Isadora Duncan, Felix Dzerzhinsky, Wilhelm Frick, Charles Glover Barkla, Joan Gamper, Frederick Soddy, Muhammad Iqbal, Francis William Aston, Heinrich Otto Wieland, G. H. Hardy, and Louis Renault. Among people deceased in 1962, Hermann Hesse ranks 3Before him are Marilyn Monroe, and Eleanor Roosevelt. After him are Niels Bohr, Adolf Eichmann, William Faulkner, Karen Blixen, Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Lucky Luciano, Georges Bataille, Yves Klein, and Gaston Bachelard.

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Others Deceased in 1962

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In Germany

Among people born in Germany, Hermann Hesse ranks 32 out of 7,253Before him are Max Planck (1858), Johannes Brahms (1833), Karl Dönitz (1891), Anne Frank (1929), Friedrich Schiller (1759), and Martin Heidegger (1889). After him are Franz Beckenbauer (1945), Wilhelm II, German Emperor (1859), Heinrich Himmler (1900), Angela Merkel (1954), Thomas Mann (1875), and Erwin Rommel (1891).

Among WRITERS In Germany

Among writers born in Germany, Hermann Hesse ranks 4Before him are Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749), Anne Frank (1929), and Friedrich Schiller (1759). After him are Thomas Mann (1875), Heinrich Heine (1797), Bertolt Brecht (1898), Erich Maria Remarque (1898), Charles Bukowski (1920), Novalis (1772), Heinrich Böll (1917), and Eckhart Tolle (1948).