On May 2, 1919, Hesse wrote to Romain Rolland: "I have had to bear a very heavy burden in my personal life in recent years. Now I am about to go to Ticino once again, to live for a while as a hermit in nature and in my work." In 1920, after settling in the Ticino mountain village of Montagnola, he published Wandering, a love letter to this magic-garden world that can be read as a meditation on his attempt to begin a new life. His pure prose, his heartfelt lyricism, and his love for the old earth, for its blessings that renew themselves, all sing in this serene book.
The first German edition of Wandering included facsimiles of fourteen watercolor landscapes. Hesse's painting had blossomed in the southern countryside and he even toyed with the idea "that I might still succeed in escaping literature entirely and making a living at the more appealing trade of painter." Unfortunately, his original pictures for Wandering have disappeared; this edition reproduces in black-and-white the full-color reproductions of the 1920 edition.