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Siddhartha (Penguin Modern Classics) by [Hesse, Hermann]
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Siddhartha (Penguin Modern Classics) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Length: 148 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers & Books
Winner of the 2014 Type Directors Club Communication Design Award
Praise for Penguin Drop Caps:
"[Penguin Drop Caps] convey a sense of nostalgia for the tactility and aesthetic power of a physical book and for a centuries-old tradition of beautiful lettering."
"Fast Company"
Vibrant, minimalist new typographic covers . Bonus points for the heartening gender balance of the initial selections.
Maria Popova, "Brain Pickings"
"The Penguin Drop Caps series is a great example of the power of design. Why buy these particular classics when there are less expensive, even free editions of "Great Expectations"? Because they re beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hische s fresh approach to the literary classics reduces the design down to typography and color. Each cover is foil-stamped with a cleverly illustrated letterform that reveals an element of the story. Jane Austen s A ("Pride and Prejudice") is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Bronte s B ("Jane Eyre") is surrounded by flames. The complete set forms a rainbow spectrum prettier than anything else on your bookshelf."
Rex Bonomelli, "The New York Times"
"Classic reads in stunning covers your book club will be dying."

About the Author

Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) spent World War I in Switzerland. After the war and a psychological crisis, he removed himself to the small town of Montagnola, where he created his best-known works. He received many important honors, including the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.
Joachim Neugroschel (1938 2011) translated numerous books from French, German, Italian, Russian, and Yiddish. The winner of three PEN translation awards and the French-American Foundation translation prize, he translated Thomas Mann s "Death in Venice," E. T. A. Hoffman and Alexadre Dumas s "Nutcracker and Mouse King," and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch s "Venus in Furs" for Penguin Classics. He also compiled several anthologies including "Great Tales of Jewish Fantasy and the Occult," "A Dybbuk and Other Tales of the Supernatural," and "The Golem: A New Translation of the Classic Play and Selected Short Stories."
Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, typographer, and web designer. She currently serves on the Type Directors Club board of directors, has been named a "Forbes Magazine" "30 under 30" in art and design as well as an ADC Young Gun and one of "Print Magazine" s "New Visual Artists." She has designed for Wes Anderson, "McSweeney's," Tiffany & Co, Penguin Books and many others. She resides primarily in San Francisco, occasionally in Brooklyn."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2258 KB
  • Print Length: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Aug. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002XHNN7A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,747 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I have loved this book for many many years, the first time I read it I was a doubting catholic, second a insecure agnostic, but every few years and at different stages of my life I have read it and everytime I rediscover it and it reconquers me; this time I sat to read this book with a little trepidation for I am a lifetime away from the young person that first read it, continents removed from where I first found Siddhartha and totally devoid from faith, I worried that my old friend would not speak to me, to my old heart. I had nothing to fear, for this book is universal and like the river it speaks of it is timeless.
“Truly, nothing in the world has so occupied my thoughts as this I, this riddle, the fact I am alive, that I am separated and isolated from all others, that I am Siddhartha! And about nothing in the world do I know less about than me, about Siddhartha!”
This is not religion or dogma, this is the eternal search of consciousness, the seeking of peace through understanding.
“It is not for me to judge another man's life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.”
A book that is beautiful and full of wisdom, an introduction to the most interesting ideas the orient has to offer. written in 1922 it influenced our culture greatly opened a door to a system of belief that does not require the submission of the self to dogma but the flowering of the self.
“Within Siddhartha there slowly grew and ripened the knowledge of what wisdom really was and the goal of his long seeking. It was nothing but a preparation of the soul, a capacity, a secret art of thinking, feeling and breathing thoughts of unity at every moment of life.
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By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`Siddhartha' is one of those books that is both simple to read and yet powerful and profound at the same time. Following a young Brahmin's son as he tries to find his spiritual path in life, this book manages to weave a tale that is both captivating and enlightening. This book is so good I could read the first 30 pages alone and put the book down a happy man, the remainder is purely icing on the cake! Hesse manages to write in a deceptively simple style that belies the depth to the message he shows us and the skill behind his writing. He won the nobel prize for good reason. This may be a short book, but it is one that will stay with you long after you have read it and will bring you back to rediscover it's delights at regular intervals. Beautiful prose, beautiful message and highly recommended indeed.

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Format: Paperback
In my opinion, these are the two most important teachings of Siddharta: time and divisions are illusions, everything is one and it is one at the same time. A powerful message of unity which supports the whole novel of Siddharta. A beautiful book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are some books everyone talks about but nobody reads. And then, there are books everyone reads but nobody understands. "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse seems to be one of those. I didn't expect much from this book after reading about it on the web. I expected it to be a really bad hippie book about some libertine who callously abandons his wife and kid, and then expects to "learn from the river", or whatever. I definitely didn't expect it to be Buddhist. Actually reading the book was therefore a pleasant surprise. Apparently, force-feeding high school students with "Siddhartha" is a really bad idea, LOL.

Hermann Hesse's novel, first published in 1922, is obviously based on a close study of different Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Perhaps the author also studied Tantrism. The book is very clever, and contains allusions to both the Bhagavad Gita and the legend of the Buddha. "Learning from the river" turns out to be another allusion. Note also the deliberate confusion in naming the main character Siddhartha, while referring to the real Buddha as Gotama. According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha's full name was Siddhartha Gotama!

Whether the book is "Buddhist" or not is mostly a matter of definition. While Siddhartha rejects the Buddha, he eventually becomes enlightened himself by a path that could be accepted by some Hindu and Buddhist traditions. In the last chapter, Siddhartha realizes that samsara is nirvana, and grasps the concept of shunyata, fundamental tenets of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. More controversial are Siddhartha's libertine escapades. I think it all hinges on how you interpret his words that the libertinism was "inevitable". Was it inevitable in the sense that the path to enlightenment goes through rank antinomianism?
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Format: Paperback
The sources of this book include classics like Nietzche's Thus Spake Zarathustra, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita and elements of Buddhism. It is the story of a quest that mirrors the quests of several Indian sages from the Buddha to countless Sadhus since. It is important to let go of preconceptions when reading this book, it is however probably more suitable to westerners who don't appreciate Indian religions that don't bear comparison with monotheistic traditions that seek salvation using one totem. Indeed, Hess seems to treat Buddhism just like another totem to be ignored given that as a religion it implies "allegiance". Taking refuge with an open mind is not the same as swearing allegiance. Everyone has to discover realisation/s for themselves. The Buddha said this. Leaving this aside, Hess is deeply sympathetic to Buddhism but prefers instead an individualistic path based on love and a simple appreciation of the world, the way many human beings come to terms with the world. It is not necessarily the path to the realisation of ultimate truth, but more coming to terms with the problems of life. I was especially touched by the descriptions of listening to the soothing river. Chapter after chapter offers various teachers and the book as a whole is about the quest and not necessarily about answers.

Philosphically the book is about independence and individualism and makes the case for a lone seeker "fare lonely as a rhinoceros" as a Buddhits text has it. This means being wary of any religion or movement and understanding the limits of concepts. Many of us do have to join groups to come to understand this and it has to be borne in mind that Siddhartha, the protagonist finds his way by forming relationships, not by being entirely alone.
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