MODERN GERMAN LITERATURE Hermann Hesse began with an ironical analysis of the artistic temperament: Hinterlassene Schriften und Gedichte Hermann "Lauscfan (1901), and followed this up with a kind Qt'mvtttt&Kunstlerroman: Peter Cammgnd (1904); the artist divests himself of his artistry and levels himself to the humdrum existence of the ordinary mortal; here we have, not (as with Thomas Mann) the contrast with the tortured mentality of the artist of the happy normal being, but a sheer decadent surrender of personality. At least on the face of it: an ironical treatment of the glorification of the artist (Kunstler- verhimmlmg) may be the undertone; or, more likely, persiflage of the author's self. Hesse was the son of a missionary, and he was sent to the Protestant Theological College at Maulbronn1 to be fitted for the same calling. Actually he earned his living for a time as a bookseller. Like Peter Camensind he was a scholarship boy who failed in his calling and found himself again by lake and mountain as a child of nature. Peter Camenzind returns to his native Swiss village of Nimikon; Hesse too elected to live in Switzerland, though not till 1912; previously he had lived at Gaienhofen on the Lake of Constance. In \Jnterm £#^(1905) the autobiographical element is glaring: the hero goes from Calw to the Seminary at Maulbronn, breaks down under the strain of study, is sent home ill, and drowns himself. As in Strauss's Freund Hem - which may have influenced Hesse - the school system is blamed for the lad's martyrdom; in both novels there is a ring of reality in the gentle unfolding of the process of mental exhaustion. In the following novels the psychology deepens gradually. Gertrud (1910) has a musician for hero, and tells a tale of marital failure and of fading skill 'Kosshalde (1914) is finely psycho-analytical. Veraguth, a fam- ous painter, lives at Rosshalde, his country estate, but in an atelier in the grounds, while his estranged wife lives in the mansion, Man and wife meet for meals only. There are two sons: one, at the university, takes the mother's side (Sohn-Vater-Kampf); the other, Pierre, is a child. Veraguth would separate from his wife if she would let him have Pierre, all that remains to him in life except his work; but this she will not agree to. This state of affairs is revealed to an old friend, a rubber planter in the Far East, who spends a holiday at Rosshalde; he by cautious questioning probes the painter's state of mind, and shows him where healing might 1 Where Hdlderlin studied before proceeding to the higher Seminarf at Tubingen.