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Herman Hesse's life during the winter of 1925 - 1926 and his novel Steppenwolf evolved together toward an inevitable climax. Living in a small flat in Zurich, Hesse began to feel like and write about Steppenwolf, the outsider who howls on the fringes of society.
At first he published a collection of poems called "Steppenwolf : A Piece of Diary in Verse." The poems are sentimental and self- pitying, much like the psyche of Harry Haller in the beginning of the novel. It was in February of 1926 that the idea for the Steppenwolf novel took concrete shape. As he began to write, Hesse included some events that he had actually experienced in Switzerland. Like Haller, Hesse, frustrated and middle-aged, was searching for himself. Haller found himself in the Magic Theater; Hesse found himself in a Zurich night spot.