Ziolkowski on Hesse

The Manuscripts Division is pleased to announce that Professor Theodore Ziolkowski has donated his Hermann Hesse Collection (C1618) to the Library, along with additional literary correspondence. From the time that Ziolkowski joined the Princeton faculty in 1964 as a professor of German, he has been a leading interpreter of the work of German-born author Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), Nobel Laureate in Literature (1946), who became a Swiss citizen in 1923. Ziolkowski published several books on Hesse, beginning with The Novels of Hermann Hesse: A Study in Theme and Structure (1965), as well as dozens of other books and editions on German and comparative literature. In 1969, he was appointed Class of 1900 Professor of German and Comparative Literatures, and also served as dean of the Graduate School from 1979 to 1992. Professor Ziolkowski went to emeritus status in 2001, but has remained very active in the world of scholarship.

The Hermann Hesse Collection includes eight boxes of materials on the posthumous reception of Hesse in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. Hesse was propelled to the ranks of popular icon and prophet of alienated youth with the help of English translations of celebrated works originally published in German: Demian (1923); Steppenwolf (1929); The Glass Bead Game (1943), first published in English translation in 1949 as Magister ludi; and Siddhartha (1951). Professor Ziolkowski’s collection helps trace Hesse’s American reception in everything from serious scholarly publications to the Hessomania of mass-market magazines and comics, calendars, posters, and even naming opportunities in popular culture. Some of these printed materials are annotated and accompanied by additional letters. The collection also included several autograph letters received from Hermann Hesse and his son Heiner Hesse; cards and photographs of Hesse; and Ziolkowski’s own literary and publishing files related to publications about Hesse. There is also additional literary correspondence between Ziolkowski and leading German authors, editors, and scholars. Correspondents include Heinrich Böll (and Böll family members), Friedrich Christian Delius, Hilde Domin, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Max Frisch, Günter Grass, Thomas H. Mandl, Ijoma Mangold, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Paul Schallück, Margot Scharpenberg, and Johannes Urzidil, as well as a file of correspondence with Lebanese poet and translator Fuad Rifka, who translated Hesse into Arabic.

As soon as the Ziolkowski Collection has been organized and described, it will be available for study in the reading room of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Additional Ziolkowski papers are found in University Archives (AC402). For more information about holdings of the Manuscripts Division, Public Services at rbsc@princeton.edu

Hermann Hesse. Undated sepia-tone photograph from the Ziolkowski Collection.