The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Hesse, Hermann
HESSE, hĕs'se, Hermann (also known under the pseudonym Hermann Lauscher), German novelist: b. Calw, Württemberg, 2 July 1877, the son of the editor of a religious journal, Johannes Hesse. He became a mechanic, later a bookseller at Basle, where he simultaneously attended lectures on literature and the history of art. In his choice of petty burgher subjects, as well as in his warmth of language and treatment, Hesse reminds one of the Swiss writers, particularly Gottfried Keller. Since 1905 he has been living at Gaienhofen, near Radolfzell, on Lake Constance. His delicate delineation of moods and milieus perhaps fits him better for the German short story (Novelle) than for the longer novel. In him, there are many reminiscences of Adalbert Stifter; his mood of recalling the events of childhood, which seems to be a constant preoccupation with him, yields him material for delightfully intimate treatment in three of his romances, ‘Hermann Lauscher,’ ‘Peter Camenzind,’ ‘Unterm Rad.’ He avoids the narrative of striking or impressive clashes of interest, preferring the more calm and peaceful life of the ordinary citizen. From ‘Nachbarn,’ a collection of short stories (1908), is taken ‘In the old “Sun” ’ (translated into English in ‘The German Classics,’ Vol. XIX, New York 1914). His works include ‘Romantische Lieder’ (1898); ‘Eine Stunde hinter Mitternacht’ (1899); ‘Hinterlassene Schriften und Gedichte Hermann Lauschers’ (1901); under the title ‘Hermann Lauscher,’ (1908); ‘Peter Camenzind,’ novel (Berlin 1904; 50th ed., 1909); ‘Unterm Rad’ (1905); ‘Diesseits’ (1907); ‘Nachbarn’ (1908); ‘Gertrud’ (1908); ‘Umwege,’ short stories (Berlin 1912). Consult Kuhn, Alfred, ‘Hermann Hesse’ (Leipzig 1907).