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Siddhartha (first published in 1922) is a novel based on the early life of Buddha,inspired by the author's visit to India before the First World War.The novel is about the young Brahmin Siddhartha's search for self- realization.Disturbed by the contradictions between his comfortable life and the harsh reality around,he takes to the life of wanderer.But an ascetic life,and shunning all temptations,does not give him a sense of full-filment either.Despairing of his condition,he goes to the riverbank,sitting there quietly.And then in the silence,he could hear himself,his inner self.In the end he grasps the wholeness of life,experiencing the sense of full-filment and wisdom which come with it.Written in a simple style,Siddhartha is considered a classic work dealing with the meaning of life.
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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 BruyaFrom 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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