Magazine December 17, 2018, Issue

The Refusenik Novelist

Hermann Hesse (Wikimedia Commons)
Hesse: The Wanderer and His Shadow, by Gunnar Decker, translated by Peter Lewis (Harvard University Press, 800 pp., $39.95)

English-language scholars have contributed almost as much to an understanding of the life and work of Hermann Hesse as have German ones. Since the appearance in 1978 of major biographies by Ralph Freedman and Joseph Mileck, studies of individual aspects of Hesse’s career have added new material, which is reflected in two biographies that appeared in Germany in 2012, the 50th anniversary of the writer’s death. One, by Heimo Schwilk, the author of biographies of Luther, Rilke, and Ernst Jünger, is 432 pages. The other, by Gunnar Decker, who has written biographies of Georg Heym, Rilke, and Gottfried Benn, is

In This Issue



Lifestyle Section

Books, Arts & Manners


Gun Country

David French reviews First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun, by David Harsanyi.




One reader praises Shawn Regan’s recent article, “Consider the Dusky Gopher Frog”; another praises Sen. Chuck Grassley.


Panpsychism (believed in by those who know what particle physics is but are uneasy with “Big Bang” as a search term) has its limits I suspect…


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