Quotations by Hesse, Herman


But every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again. That is why every man’s story is important, eternal, sacred; that is why every man, as long as he lives and fulfills the will of nature, is wondrous, and worthy of every consideration.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Demian (1919)
Added on 10-Nov-09 | Last updated 10-Nov-09
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I wanted to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why is that so difficult?

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Demian, ch. 3 (1919) [tr. Roloff and Lebeck (1965)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 30-Sep-09
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If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Demian, ch. 6 (1919)
Added on 1-Dec-15 | Last updated 1-Dec-15
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Young people have many pleasures and many sorrows, because they only have themselves to think of, so every wish and every notion assume importance; every pleasure is tasted to the full, but also every sorrow ….

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Gertrude (1910) [tr. H. Rosner]
Added on 20-Oct-09 | Last updated 20-Oct-09
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Man’s life seems to me like a long, weary night that would be intolerable if there were not occasionally flashes of light, the sudden brightness of which is so comforting and wonderful, that the moments of their appearance cancel out and justify the years of darkness.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Gertrude (1910) [tr. H. Rosner]
Added on 1-Dec-09 | Last updated 1-Dec-09
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We cannot evade life’s course, but we can school ourselves to be superior to fortune and also to look unflinchingly upon the most painful things.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Gertrude (1910) [tr. H. Rosner]
Added on 8-Dec-09 | Last updated 8-Dec-09
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That’s the way it is when you love. It makes you suffer, and I have suffered much in the years since. But it matters little that you suffer, so long as you feel alive with a sense of the close bond that connects all living things, so long as love does not die!

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Peter Camenzind (1904)
Added on 13-Oct-09 | Last updated 13-Oct-09
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Nothing makes the multitude angrier than when someone forces them to change their opinion of him.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Reflections, #100 [ed. V. Michels (1974)]
Added on 20-Jan-15 | Last updated 20-Jan-15
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Those that cannot think or take responsibility for themselves need, and clamor for, a leader.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Reflections, #106 [ed. Michels (1974)]
Added on 26-Oct-15 | Last updated 26-Oct-15
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A man who is “ill-adjusted to the world” is always on the point of finding himself. One who is adjusted to the world neer finds himself, but gets to be a cabinet minister.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Reflections, #149 [ed. Michels (1974)]
Added on 9-Nov-11 | Last updated 9-Nov-11
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No man can go too far in independence or in adaptation with impunity.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Reflections, #245 [ed. Michels (1974)]
Added on 10-Jan-12 | Last updated 10-Jan-12
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Faith and doubt go hand in hand, they are complementaries.  One who never doubts will never truly believe.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Reflections, #291 (1974) [ed. V. Michels]
Added on 29-Mar-10 | Last updated 29-Mar-10
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Soft is stronger than hard, water than rock, love than violence.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Reflections, #363 [ed. Michels (1974)]
Added on 19-Jan-12 | Last updated 19-Jan-12
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Any attempt to replace the personal conscience by a collective conscience does violence to the individual and is the first step toward totalitarianism.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Reflections, ch. 32 [ed. Volker Michels (1974)]
Added on 15-Jul-10 | Last updated 15-Jul-10
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Most people are like a falling leaf that drifts and turns in the air, flutters, and falls to the ground. But a few others are like stars which travel one defined path: no wind reaches them, they have within themselves their guide and path.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Siddhartha, ch 2 “Amongst the People” (1922) [tr. Rosner (1951)]
Added on 26-Mar-14 | Last updated 26-Mar-14
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