Hermann Hesse Siddhartha

ISBN 13: 9781570628030

Siddhartha

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9781570628030: Siddhartha
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This classic of twentieth-century literature chronicles the spiritual evolution of a man living in India at the time of the Buddha—a spiritual journey that has inspired generations of readers. Here is a fresh translation from Sherab Chödzin Kohn, a gifted translator and longtime student of Buddhism and Eastern philosophy. Kohn's flowing, poetic translation conveys the philosophical and spiritual nuances of Hesse's text, paying special attention to the qualities of meditation experience. This edition also includes an introduction exploring Hesse's own spiritual journey as evidenced in his journals and personal letters.

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Review:

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 Gotama 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 Brahmin, 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 Hermann 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. In this translation Sherab Chodzin Kohn captures the slow, spare lyricism of Siddhartha's search, putting her version on par with Hilda Rosner's standard edition. --Brian Bruya

From the Publisher:

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 despair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This sound signals the true beginning of his life -- the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace, and, finally, wisdom.

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Hermann Hesse
Published by Shambhala (2000)
ISBN 10: 1570628033 ISBN 13: 9781570628030
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