Siddhartha Hardcover – 10 Oct 1998
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In the shade of a banyan tree, a grizzled ferryman sits listening to the river. Some say he's a sage. He was once a wandering shramana and, briefly, like thousands of others, he followed Gautama the Buddha, enraptured by his sermons. But this man, Siddhartha, was not a follower of any but his own soul. Born the son of a Brahman, Siddhartha was blessed in appearance, intelligence, and charisma. In order to find meaning in life, he discarded his promising future for the life of a wandering ascetic. Still, true happiness evaded him. Then a life of pleasure and titillation merely eroded away his spiritual gains until he was just like all the other "child people," dragged around by his desires. Like Hesse's other creations of struggling young men, Siddhartha has a good dose of European angst and stubborn individualism. His final epiphany challenges both the Buddhist and the Hindu ideals of enlightenment. Neither a practitioner nor a devotee, neither meditating nor reciting, Siddhartha comes to blend in with the world, resonating with the rhythms of nature, bending the reader's ear down to hear answers from the river. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
When this German novelist, poet, and essayist publicly denounced the savagery and hatred of World War I, he was considered a traitor. He moved to Switzerland where he eventually became a naturalized citizen. He warned of the advent of World War II, predicting that cultureless efficiency would destroy the modern world. His theme is the conflict between the elements of a person's dual nature and the problem of spiritual loneliness. His first novel, Peter Camenzind, was published in 1904. His masterpiece, Death and the Lover (1930), contrasts a scholarly abbot and his beloved pupil, who leaves the monastery for the adventurous world. Steppenwolf (1927), a European bestseller, was published when defeated Germany had begun to plan for another war. It is the story of Haller, who recognizes in himself the blend of the human and wolfish traits of the completely sterile scholarly project. Hesse won the Nobel Prize in 1946. During the 1960s Hesse became a favorite writer of the counter culture, especially in the United States, though his critical reputation has never equaled his popularity. Hermann Hesse died in 1962.
Hilda Rosner contributed to The Journey to the East from Picador. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I think this book is relevant to everyone, because although it is telling the tale of a spiritual and religious man, it is also a tale about life and how our life experiences make us who we are. Many of Siddhartha's feelings and thoughts are common to us all as we make our way along the road of our own lives. This book reaffirms the fact that in the end we are all the same, and someone who has stayed in the same place all their life can be as wise as someone who has spent his life travelling on a long search for the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Its message appears to be that we are all the same and all of our life experiences whether good or bad, are necessary for us to find ourselves, and even though everyone will go through different things, we are all bonded by the fact that we are on the same journey. I believe everyone who reads this book will be touched in some way by the simple and poignant words. I would recommend this to everyone, it's a very enlightening and though-provoking read.
The translation is amateurish and entirely ruins what is a beautiful and profound book (I have read the Penguin translation in paperback and would give that 4 or 5 star). Moreover, the formatting is terrible - sentences often finish halfway across the Kindle screen. A disappointment as I just got my Kindle and think it is an excellent device, but now am concerned about quality control. In summary, DO NOT BUY this Kindle version!
Siddartha is also an allegory that can apply to all of us. It teaches us how to have a liberating philosophy for life, which most westerners will very different from their usual modern, materialistic perspectives.
Should you decide to read this wonderful work, it is worth noting from the outset that, though it contains religion, it does not preach the tenets of any faith. It is purely and simply about philosophy.
This book is worth reading for it's own merits, but if you read Hesse's Demian and Steppenwolf first you will get even more benefit from it. These three novels changed my life!
This is a book which can take multimple re-readings and certainly gives me something new and inspirational each time I read it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic read and life changing for me when i read it in my teenage years.Published 3 months ago by Vitor
My favourite book of mindfulness. Don't give up, the author nearly did. Read it to the end.Published 6 months ago by JDS CAMPBELL
A very good book for people seeking deeper knowledge of themselves with the art of wisdom - principles that can illuminate our path throughout lifePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer