Talk:Hermann Hesse

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Why has somebody decorated this page like it is the inside of a head shop? I can almost smell the incense.

"Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud" is commonly attributed to Hesse. Did he say or write any such thing? The quote in the article isn't the same and doesn't read the same. Also didn't he write in German? All these quotes presumably are translations? [Added by]

I can't give the answer abount attributions of particular quotes, but as for sources, yes he wrote in German. So all of those quotes might come from translations or be translated by contributors. If we can add the sources, which translations were used, it would be nice. --Aphaia 3 July 2005 14:39 (UTC)


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Hermann Hesse. --Antiquary 18:26, 9 April 2009 (UTC)[]

  • My instinct as an individualist and artist has always warned me most urgently against this capacity of men for becoming drunk on collective suffering, collective pride, collective hatred, and collective honor. When this morbid exaltation becomes perceptible in a room, a hall, a village, a city, or a country, I grow cold and distrustful; a shudder comes over me, for already, while most of my fellow men are still weeping with rapture and enthusiasm, still cheering and venting protestations of brotherhood, I see blood flowing and cities going up in flames.
  • My watercolours are a sort of poem or dream, they carry only a distant memory of reality, transforming it according to personal feelings or need.
  • The more individuals capable of watching the world theater calmly and critically, the less danger of monumental mass stupidities — in first of all, wars.


  • We all have a common origin, the Mothers, we all come out of the same abyss; but each of us, a trial throw of the dice from the depths, strives toward his own goal. We can understand one another, but each of us can only interpret himself.
    • Prologue
    • Variant translation: We all share the same origin, our mothers; all of us come in at the same door. But each of us — experiments of the depths — strives toward his own destiny. We can understand one another, but each of us is able to interpret himself to himself alone.

Insufficiently sourced quotes from Damian[edit]

  • I was only trying to live my life in accordance with the principles which sprang from my own true self. Why was that so very difficult?
  • He who wants to be born must destroy a world.
  • In each individual the spirit is made flesh, in each one the whole of creation suffers, in each one a Savior is crucified.
  • 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.
  • One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time.
  • Only the ideas we actually live are of any value.
  • Each of us has to find out for ourselves what is permitted and what is forbidden--forbidden for him. It's possible for one never to transgress a single law and still be a bastard. And vice versa. Actually, it's only a question of convenience. Those who are too lazy and comfortable to think for themselves and be their own judges obey the rules. Others sense their own laws within them; things are forbidden in them that every honorable man will do in any day of the year, and other things are allowed to them that are generally despised. Each person must stand on his own feet.
  • Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak surrender to them, don't ask first whether it's permitted or would please your teachers or father, or some god. You will ruin yourself if you do that.
  • Live those dreams, play with them, build altars to them. It is not yet the ideal, but it points in the right direction.
  • The things we see are the same things that are within us. There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself. You can be happy that way. But once you know the other interpretation you no longer have the choice of following the crowd. Sinclair, the majority's path is an easy one, ours is difficult.
  • I live in my dreams... Other people live in dreams, but not in their own. That's the difference.
  • I belong to my fate and to no one else.
  • A stone had been dropped into the well, the well was my youthful soul. And for a very long time this matter of Cain, the fratricide, and the 'mark' formed the point of departure for all my attempts at comprehension, my doubts and my criticism.
  • You knew all along that your sanctioned world was only half the world and you tried to suppress the second half the way the priests and teachers do. You won't succeed. No one succeeds in this once he has begun to think.
  • Suddenly, a new image had risen up before me, a lofty and cherished image. And no need, no urge was as deep or as fervent within me as the craving to worship and admire. I gave her the name Beatrice.
  • We who bore the mark, felt no anxiety about the shape the future was to take. All of these faiths and teachings seemed to us already dead and useless. The only duty and destiny we acknowledged was that each one of us should become so completely himself, so utterly faithful to the active seed which nature planted within him, that in living out its growth he could be surprised by nothing unknown to come.
  • Perhaps you'll need me again sometime, against Kromer or something. If you call me then I won't come crudely, on horseback or by train. You'll have to listen within yourself, then you will notice that I am within you.

Further comment[edit]

The above quotes are moved here from the Demian article, which is redirected to this article. From none of the above quotes exact source info seem to be available online at the moment. If available it can be added and quotes can be moved back into the existing structure. -- Mdd (talk) 21:52, 21 May 2014 (UTC)[]