After reading several of Hesse's pieces, it all starts to blend together. One of the most lyrical novelists in history, Hesse manages to weave his typical motifs and themes into this light and enjoyable read.
Knulp is a vagabond who enjoys life and merrily trots out of villages as easily as he enters them. Along his journeys, there arises a tension between the path of pleasure that he takes and the traditional one of responsibility and sacrifice (as in most of Hesse's work). Knulp goes through his requisite period of self-discovery, and the shocking parts come when he bitterly recounts portions of his life and his failure to perform his duties.
Knulp is a fast read and not a bad introduction to Hesse, but unspectacular. This story is most similar in tone and style to Rosshalde, published the previous year in 1914. Hesse's works are spiritual, but he offers his characters the freedom to explore and create their sense of existence. Honestly, I just read Hesse for his genius, therapeutic, and calming prose.