Visitor is struck by the 7yo footnote, but it's the one above that gets me: "'Hermann is going to nursery school, his violent temperament causes us much distress.' The child was three years old."
on hermann hesse at seven: pic.twitter.com/Soqy3xM4Ph— visitor design (@visitordesign) December 24, 2014
Turns out these are from The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self, the 2008 revised edition of Alice Miller's 1981 book, The Prisoners of Childhood: The Drama of the Gifted Child. It's apparently not about gifted in the bumper sticker way, but about kids who have the depth and resilience to survive abusive and harsh experiences in their early years. The 'gift' in Miller's title is the kid's ability "to feel and ease the emotional insecurities of their mothers, thus gain[ing] her love, and in the process deny[ing] their own desires," according to one Amazon reviewer. Not a light read, apparently.
I guess this is what you can find when you pull a little thread, and Google some quotes from Hermann Hesse's mother's diaries.