Even the most harmless people can hardly avoid coming into conflict, once or twice in their lives, with the beautiful virtues of piety and gratitude. At some point we all have to take the step that separates us from our father and our teachers; we all have to feel something of the cruelty of solitude, even if most people cannot endure too much and quickly crawl back to safety.
I had not parted from my parents, from the “world of light” of my wonderful childhood, in a violent struggle – I had slowly, almost imperceptibly, grown distant from it and more and more a stranger to it. I was sorry, I spent many bitter hours during my visits home, but it didn’t touch me to the core, it was bearable.

from Hermann Hesse “Demian” (Translated by Damion Searls)


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