Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Linehan, Uschi
(Anti-) Classicism & (Anti-) Idealism
Goethe’s influence on Hermann Hesse’s writings
University College Cork
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Hesse spent much of his time reading German Romantic literature, primarily Goethe who utterly captivated him. Goethe is recognised as one of the leading figures in German literature during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century period of literary and cultural achievement, which is often referred to as Goethezeit. Goethe initiated the tradition of the Bildungsroman and Hesse’s later novels (1919-1943) can be viewed within this tradition. Hesse varied Goethe’s approach to the Bildungsroman by incorporating C. G. Jung’s psychoanalytical theories of archetypes and the individuation process. This in turn contributed to the narrative structures and the composition of Hesse’s novels during this literary period in his life. In this paper, I select passages from Hesse’s essay Dank an Goethe (1932), his novels Der Steppenwolf (1927) and his magnum opus Das Glasperlenspiel (1943) to demonstrate how much of an influence Goethe had on Hesse’s writings.