“The war is nobody’s fault. It occurs by itself, like thunder and lightning. All of us who must fight wars are not the perpetrators. We are only their victims.”
"Strange News from Another Star" is a short fairy tale written by Hermann Hesse in April 1915, one year after the start of the 1st World War. In the fairy tale, two stars are juxtaposed.
On one star, life is valued, beauty is appreciated, reason is respected, humane traditions are cultivated, love and happiness are experienced and peace prevails.
On the other star, jealousy, hatred and despair are cultivated, wars are waged incessantly, battlefield murder is officially condoned, the countryside is left strewn with unattended cadavers and fear prevails.
The latter is clearly our world as Hesse saw it, rendered mythical, and the former is an idealized world that ours could be.
Unlike his earlier works, the story does not lend itself to rational interpretation. It is essentially a fairy tale dealing with the subconscious, magic and the dream world.
The fairy tale represents an intermediate stage between Hesse's initial ambiguous stance to the war, as an internationalist who tolerated war and a pacifist who looked forward to a German victory, and his later active anti-war campaign.
The story, which was titled “Merkwürdige Nachricht von einem anderen Stern” in German, was one of several that brought Hesse into conflict with supporters of the war, his country and its government.
This print edition contains new translations of Strange News from Another Star, Faldum, Iris, Fine Dream Sequence, A Difficult Path, The Poet and Augustus
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Text: English, German (translation)
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