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Herman Hesse is one of the worlds most necessary writers Until winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946 however he was virtually unknown outside of German speaking countries Since then he has been an icon for the young every where because of his ability to communicate the same struggles that many aspiring students face Many of his characters often sharing his initials ie Harry Haller of Steppenwolf struggle within a world that seeks to extinguish individual creativity Born in 1877 to a Protestant family in southern Germany Hesse from the beginning was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole Perhaps it should be noted that his goal was to be a well-rounded person finding it difficult to fit into the square confines of his culture According to biographies Hesse admits that he was adamant about becoming a poet from an early age- twelve to be exact While at school he discovered that curriculums at home and abroad are not designed to nurture poets the same way they are for more practical professions such as doctors and scientists In fact one of the earliest of his works Beneath the Wheel depicts his own rebellion against such a system which he sees as lethal to the soul that does not yield At the age of seventeen frustrated with life he ran away and after brief encounters with local police landed a job as a bookkeepers apprentice Hesse spent four years struggling to remain focused and eventually began to be published After brief success with short stories and poetry he married a woman and fathered three children but became even more discontent with his place in life In 1911 this sparked his journey to a place that always held great mystery and intrigue to him- India Forever a believer in the ancient wisdom of the East Hesse sought answers to his own life which are often reflected in his works The Orient had
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