Overview

Hesse's famous and influential novel, Siddartha, is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922.

Set in India, Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin's ...
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Siddhartha: An Indian Tale

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Overview

Hesse's famous and influential novel, Siddartha, is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922.

Set in India, Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin's search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, through the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation.

This new translation by award-winning translator Joachim Neugroschel includes an introduction by Hesse biographer Ralph Freedman.




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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101200025
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 219,794
  • File size: 184 KB

Meet the Author

In the 1960s, especially in the United States, the novels of Hermann Hesse were widely embraced by young readers who found in his protagonists a reflection of their own search for meaning in a troubled world. Hesse’s rich allusions to world mythologies, especially those of Asia, and his persistent theme of the individual striving for integrity in opposition to received opinions and mass culture appealed to a generation in upheaval and in search of renewed values.


Born in southern Germany in 1877, Hesse came from a family of missionaries, scholars, and writers with strong ties to India. This early exposure to the philosophies and religions of Asia—filtered and interpreted by thinkers thoroughly steeped in the intellectual traditions and currents of modern Europe—provided Hesse with some of the most pervasive elements in his short stories and novels, especially Siddhartha (1922) and Journey to the East (1932).


Hesse concentrated on writing poetry as a young man, but his first successful book was a novel, Peter Camenzind (1904). The income it brought permitted him to settle with his wife in rural Switzerland and write full-time. By the start of World War I in 1914, Hesse had produced several more novels and had begun to write the considerable number of book reviews and articles that made him a strong influence on the literary culture of his time.


During the war, Hesse was actively involved in relief efforts. Depression, criticism for his pacifist views, and a series of personal crises—combined with what he referred to as the “war psychosis” of his times—led Hesse to undergo psychoanalysis with J. B. Lang, a student of Carl Jung. Out of these years came Demian (1919), a novel whose main character is torn between the orderliness of bourgeois existence and the turbulent and enticing world of sensual experience. This dichotomy is prominent in Hesse’s subsequent novels, including Siddhartha (1922), Steppenwolf (1927), and Narcissus and Goldmund (1930). Hesse worked on his magnum opus, The Glass Bead Game (1943), for twelve years. This novel was specifically cited when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. Hesse died at his home in Switzerland in 1962.


Calling his life a series of “crises and new beginnings,” Hesse clearly saw his writing as a direct reflection of his personal development and his protagonists as representing stages in his own evolution. In the 1950s, Hesse described the dominant theme of his work: “From Camenzind to Steppenwolf and Josef Knecht [protagonist of The Glass Bead Game], they can all be interpreted as a defense (sometimes also as an SOS) of the personality, of the individual self.”

Joachim Neugroschel has won three PEN translation awards and the French-American translation prize. He has also translated Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs, both for Penguin Classics. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Ralph Freedman, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Princeton University, is acclaimed for his biographies Hermann Hesse: Pilgrim of Crisis, and Life of a Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke










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Table of Contents

Introduction
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Translation
SIDDHARTHA

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 141 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(80)

4 Star

(37)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 140 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    Siddhartha Book Review

    Herman Hesses' novel depicts the journey of a boy who seeks knowledge and wisdom and quickly finds himself in times of love, devotion, and wisdom. Determined to find his path to enlightenment he witnesses and encounters the hardships which include the path of addiction and trials of his runaway son consumed by greed. Even through all his heartache he is lead by his guide, a mysterious ferryman, through his losses and recuperates by finally achieving his greatest wishes. Siddhartha shows us that the real goal in life is to be complete and always accept your hardships because in the end it is all worth it.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 18, 2010

    Amazing

    This is an amazing little treat, that you don`t want to miss out on. I like Herman Hesse anyway and it was by complete accident that I found this book. It is short, but you get immersed.
    A few things about the author: Hesse is a Nobel Prize laureate, born in Germany, but a Swiss writer.He wrote Siddharta in 1922. He had previously, back in the 1910s, visited India.The story focuses on Siddharta, the son of a Brahmin, who leaves his home (the story takes place in Nepal around the time of Gautama Buddha) in search of enlightenment and it recounts the experiences, the events that lead him to reach nirvana. The stories, the people, the events that he encounters all add up to him reaching a deeper understanding of the universe. In the beginning of the story, he actually meets Gautama (Gotama) Buddha, who by then reached the perfect state and listens to his teaching, but decides that he should learn to reach enlightment through his own experiences, not someone else`s teachings.
    The style is quite simple, yet at times it reaches almost poetic heights. As I mentioned earlier, this is a very short novel, but it took a long time (and surely a long spiritual journey) for the author to write.
    I highly recommend Siddharta, and other works of Herman Hesse as well.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2005

    Therapeutic

    I read this recently during a painful break-up/separation from my wife. At the time I was convinced we were getting divorced. Reading this book made me realize that I was going to be fine whatever the outcome. Once I stopped pouting around and enjoyed life with or without my wife, she came back. I credit this book with saving my marriage.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    DON'T BUY Superior Formatting Publishing version

    Great book, lousy version! Full of typos, misspellings, repeated words and gibberish. A rip off even at 99 cents. It looks like they simply scanned someone else's and then never bothered to proof or even spell check. I'd like to get my money back from BN if I could figure out how.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Wow

    Whoa!! That was such a good story. Had to read for school and didnt expect to like it. I loved it and definitely recommend. Really makes you think.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Journey

    If you are looking for your own spiritual journey... you will be inspired after reading this book. Simple and meaningful. Definitely one of my all time favorites!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2014

    Great Read

    A book that will make you think.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Highly recommended

    I love it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2012

    Beautiful

    Loved it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Slow but FANTASTIC!!!

    This book is AWESOME!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2011

    Great

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2011

    Enlightening.

    A wonderful enlightening journey.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Life changing

    This is on my Top 10 Best Books of All Time list. You will reexamine the way you view life. It's is crushing and uplifting in the same breath. It's a shorter book, but don't be tempted to read it all in one sitting. Savor every sentence, let it marinate in your psyche, you will wonder how you never thought like that before.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 18, 2011

    So-So LL

    This book was neither easy nor fun to read. It did not provoke any thoughts in me. Why? Maybe I am not a deep person. Maybe I have already seen in my forebearers Siddhartha's journey through life. Maybe his journey was flawed by his own hand. A million things to ponder. Nah, I am just not a deep person.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Pure Wisdom

    Siddhartha is a book written about the journey of a young Brahmin to a wise old man.It is a book written for anyone interested in Middle Eastern religion and ways of life. Although this topic may sound extremely intriguing to some people, this was not the case for me. I only began reading this book because there was nothing else to read at the time.
    At first, the plot was slow-moving and I didn't really see the point. This book was boring me so much that I had to stop reading it and find something more interesting.
    Weeks later, with a new mindset, I gave the book another try. I paid attention to the life-long messages that the author was portraying in between the lines. These small details in the plot were what I found most thought-provoking.
    As Siddhartha continued his journey to understand perfection, to understand Om, I began to understand the story. It was not about Siddhartha finding Nirvana, but about Siddhartha realizing the perfection of life and why the good and bad aspects of it are both important.
    After finishing this book I realized that it had left a huge impression on me. It had influenced my ways of thinking about and seeing the world around me. I can actually say that this book, Siddhartha, changed my life. Herman Hesse's writing is what I would define as pure wisdom.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 7, 2011

    A wonderful addition

    This book is beautifully written and translated, telling the story of a wonderful teacher with grace and almost poetic reverence.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2011

    a favorite

    i have read this book twice and i highly recommend it. the depth and meaning is great. it is a truly amazing book.

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent...I highly recommend

    This is an enlightening and thought provoking book about a man who is on a path to discovering what the purpose of life is..On his path to finding this out he realizes that the path he originally thought was not the correct one,And upon realizing this continues to search and ends up going through different trials and tribulations..It is a book that will make you think, that will quite possibly alter the way that you perceive things.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2011

    Don't bother.

    go to amazon and find the free ebooks link, there you can get all the classic books at no cost unlike barnes and noble who like to charge and promote it as a steal. Don't get suckered into paying $1-5 for any of the classic books when its offered for free.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    Excellent writing. The style and content brings the reader to the threshold.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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