Knulp is the eternal drifter, a true drop-out of an earlier time. Originally published in Germany in 1915, Knulp was Hermann Hesse’s most popular book in the years before he published Demian. During the 1950’s, the book was influential on Jack Kerouac author of “On the Road” and “The Dharma Bums” as well as othe Beat Generation authors.
With profound understanding and sympathy, but also with some irony, Hesse portrays Knulp’s life journey, his love affairs and his questioning of life. The novel reaches a final powerful climax when God reveals to Knulp that the purpose of his life was to bring a little nostalgia for freedom into the lives of ordinary men.