Herman Hesse

Germany
2 Jul 1877 // 9 Aug 1962
Writer

The Prison of Personality

This little theater of mine has as many doors into as many boxes as you please, ten or a hundred thousand, and behind each door exactly what you seek awaits you. It is a pretty cabinet of pictures, my dear friend; but it would be quite useless to go through it as you are. You would be checked and blinded by it at every turn by what you are pleased to call your personality. You have no doubt guessed long since that the conquest of time and the escape from reality, or however else it may be that you choose to describe your longing, means simply the wish to be relieved of your so-called personality. That is the prison where you lie.

Hermann Hesse, in 'Steppenwolf'
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Steppenwolf

Hermann Hesse

 

On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays