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With its blend of Eastern mysticism and Western culture, Hesse's best-known and most autobiographical work is one of literature's most poetic evocations of the soul's journey to liberation. Harry Haller is a sad and lonely figure, a reclusive intellectual for whom life holds no joy. He struggles to reconcile the wild primeval wolf and the rational man within himself without surrendering to the bourgeois values he despises. His life changes dramatically when he meets a woman who is his opposite, the carefree and elusive Hermine.