Siddhartha: An Indian Tale

Siddhartha: An Indian Tale

by Hermann Hesse
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Overview

Siddhartha: An Indian Tale by Hermann Hesse

In the novel, Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his family for a contemplative life, then, restless, discards it for one of the flesh. He conceives a son, but bored and sickened by lust and greed, moves on again. Near dispair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This sound signals the true beginning of life —the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace and, finally, wisdom.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491286067
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 08/06/2013
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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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Siddhartha 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 137 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Aglaia More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm going to look for a different edition, maybe not an e-version because I can't get through mine from Classic Gems Publishing. I've read Herman Hesse before. This isn't Herman Hesse. This reads like someone ran his manuscript through Google translate and then sprinkled commas EVERYWHERE.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book.
Am1226 More than 1 year ago
A book that will make you think.
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I love it
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