By Decker, GunnarTranslated by Lewis, Peter
Against the horrors of imperial and Nazi dictatorships, the disillusionment of Weimar's failures, and the unbending austerity of German Nonconformist Christianity, Hermann Hesse's stories inspired nonconformity and a yearning for universal values to supplant the political fanatic...ism tearing Europe apart. Initially, critics thought his work inaccessible to Americans, but the counterculture of the 1960s-and subsequent generations of admirers-emphatically proved the opposite. Few today would doubt Hesse's artistry or his importance to millions of devoted readers. But just who was the author of Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and Demian?Gunnar Decker weaves together previously unavailable sources to offer a unique interpretation of the life and work of Hermann Hesse. Drawing on newly discovered correspondence between Hesse and his psychoanalyst Josef Lang, Decker shows how Hesse reversed the traditional roles of therapist and client, and rethinks the relationship between Hesse's novels and Jungian psychoanalysis. Readers who can now explore Hesse's correspondence with Thomas Mann and Stefan Zweig-the latter recently unearthed-will come away with a better understanding of the author's profound sense of alienation from his contemporaries.The wanderer reenters our world through Decker's deftly crafted biography, ever a champion of intellectual and spiritual searching against the forces of mass culture, consumerism, and the disenchanted life.Read more
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Gunnar Decker is the author of numerous biographies, including works on Francis of Assisi, Vincent van Gogh, Rainer Maria Rilke, Ernst Junger, and Georg Trakl. He is also a film and theater critic, and the editor of the journal Theater der Zeit.
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