Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program

Germanic Languages and Literatures


English (en)

Date of Award

January 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Lutz Koepnick


This dissertation asserts that the Hermann Hesse approaches the themes and techniques of literary Modernism with ambivalence. The first chapter outlines the role of philosophical and literary walking in Hesse's work in general as well as how these depictions differ from those produced by his predecessors. The second chapter takes Hesse's reinterpretation of Nietzsche and Rousseau and applies it to three of Hesse's early novels, Unterm Rad, Peter Camenzind, and Knulp. The third chapter examines Der Steppenwolf as an ambivalently Modernist autobiography, using Eugene Stelzig's notion of Seelenbiographie. The last chapter examines Hesse's two final novels, Die Morgenlandfahrt and Das Glasperlenspie as exemplars of Hesse's ambivalence towards modernist literary techniques overall.


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