Berne

From Gaienhofen, the family moves to Berne in September 1912. Yet they move not to the town of Berne but to a more rural-looking house in the quiet suburb of Ostermudigen Hesse finds everything he is looking for: beautiful countryside, the nearby mountains, and stimulating, cultivated company. Yet the marital problems are growing. Wife Mia is increasingly subject to bouts of depression and emotional disturbance, and Hermann Hesse is unable to coordinate his functions as father, writer and critic of his times. This period also coincides with the beginning of the First World War, which he opposes with political admonitions and the establishment of an organization aiding prisoners of war. After the death of his father in 1916, the poet and writer - on the brink of a nervous breakdown - decides to undergo psychotherapy. In 1919, he breaks with family life and a settled existence, leaving Berne after seven years to go and live in Tessin. By this time, Mia is already in clinical care, and the children are sent to boarding school or to live with friends. For all the difficulties experienced, the years in Berne were a productive and successful period for the writer. Rosshalde and Knulp are completed during this time, as is Demian, which proves to have a special appeal for young readers and ushers in a new stage in his creative work as a writer. In external terms, too, it heralds a new departure, Hesse originally having published the book under the synonym Emil Sinclair.