The first transformation, you recall, took place at the instant when I recognised my determination to become a poet. The hitherto model pupil Hesse became from then on a bad pupil, he was punished, expelled, he did nothing right, he caused himself and his parents one worry after another - all simply because he saw no possibility of reconciliation between the world as it happens to be or seems to be and the voice of his own heart. Once more I saw myself in conflict with a world with which I had until then been living in complete content. Once more everything went awry for me, once more I was alone and miserable, once more everything I said and thought was deliberately misinterpreted by others. Once more, between reality and what seemed to me good, desirable, and sensible, I saw a hopeless abyss yawning.


This time, however, I was not spared a self-examination. Before long I found myself obliged to seek the cause of my sufferings not outside but inside myself. For this much at least I could clearly see: to accuse the whole world of delusion and brutality was something no human being and no god had a right to do, I least of all. And so there must be all sorts of disorder in me if I was in such sharp conflict with the whole course of the world. And behold, there was in fact a great disorder.