Fiction Hermann Hesse Siddhartha

ISBN 13: 9781934648032

Siddhartha

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9781934648032: Siddhartha

Siddhartha (1922) by Hermann Hesse is a deceptively simple, intense, and lyrical allegorical tale of a man in ancient India striving for enlightenment at the time of Buddha. Siddhartha is a man whose life journey runs in parallel and who may or may not be another version of Buddha himself.

Spiritual enlightenment may not be taught, only experienced, and each individual must tread their own personal path toward truth, in this unforgettable novel by the author who won the 1946 Nobel Prize in Literature.

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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:

This book is perfect for AP classes and is often selected for inclusion on the AP exam. The notes, reading pointers, and vocabulary in this addition will also help students at a lower reading level get the most out of these classics.

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