The Journey To The East

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9788170262442: The Journey To The East

Journey to the East is written from the point of view of a man (coincidentally called 'H. H.') who becomes a member of 'The League', a timeless religious sect whose members include famous fictional and real characters, such as Plato, Mozart, Pythagoras, Paul Klee, Don Quixote, Tristram Shandy, Baudelaire, and the ferryman Vasudeva, a character from one of Hesse's earlier works, Siddhartha. A branch of the group goes on a pilgrimage to 'the East' in search of the 'ultimate Truth'. The narrator speaks of traveling through both time and space, across geography imaginary and real. Although at first fun and enlightening, the Journey runs into a crisis in a deep mountain gorge called Morbio Inferiore when Leo, aparently a simple servant, disappears, causing the group to plummet into anxiety and argument. Leo is described as happy, pleasant, handsome, beloved by everyone, having a rapport with animals - to a discerning reader, he seems a great deal more than a simple servant, but nobody in the pilgrimage, including the narrator, seems to get this. Nor does anyone seem to wonder why the group dissolves in dissension and bickering after Leo disappears. Instead they accuse Leo of taking with him various objects which they seem to be missing (and which turn up later) and which they regard as very important (and which later turn out not to be very important), and they blame him for the eventual disintegration of the group and failure of the Journey. Years later the narrator tries to write his story of the Journey, even though he has lost contact with the group and believes the League no longer exists. But he is unable to put together any coherent account of it; his whole life has sunk into despair and disillusionment since the failure of the one thing which was most important to him, and he has even sold the violin with which he once offered music to the group during the journey. Finally, at the advice of a friend, he finds the servant Leo and, having failed in his attempt to re-establish communication with him or even be recognized by him when he meets him on a park bench, writes him a long, impassioned letter of 'grievances, remorse and entreaty' and posts it to him that night. The next morning Leo appears in the narrator's home and tells him he has to appear before the High Throne to be judged by the officials of the League. It turns out (to the narrator's surprise) that Leo, the simple servant, is actually President of League, and the crisis in Morbio Inferiore was a test of faith which the narrator and everyone else flunked rather dismally - and H. H. continues to flunk test after test even after finding this out. But the final dénouement is a stroke of Hesse's typical Eastern mysticism at its finest.

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About the Author:

Hesse was born in the Black Forest town of Calw in Württemberg, Germany to a Christian missionary family. Both of his parents served with a Basel Mission to India, where Hesse's mother Marie Gundert was born in 1842. Hesse's father, Johannes Hesse, was born in 1847 in Estonia, the son of a doctor. The Hesse family had lived in Calw since 1873, where they operated a missionary publishing house under the direction of Hesse's grandfather, Hermann Gundert. Hesse spent his first years of life surrounded by the spirit of Swabian piety. In 1881, when Hesse was four, the family moved to Basel, Switzerland, for six years, then returned to Calw. After successful attendance at the Latin School in Göppingen, Hesse began to attend the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Maulbronn in 1891. Here in March 1892, Hesse showed his rebellious character and in one instance he fled from the Seminary and was found in a field a day later.At the end of 1892, he attended the Gymnasium in Cannstatt. In 1893, he passed the One Year Examination, which concluded his schooling.On 17 October 1895, Hesse began working in the bookshop Heckenhauer in Tübingen, which had a specialized collection in theology, philology, and law. Hesse's assignment there consisted of organizing, packing, and archiving the books. Hesse married Maria Bernoulli (of the famous family of mathematicians[2]) in 1904, settled down with her in Gaienhofen on Lake Constance, and began a family, eventually having three sons. In Gaienhofen, he wrote his second novel Beneath the Wheel, which was published in 1906. In the following time he composed primarily short stories and poems. His next novel, Gertrude, published in 1910, revealed a production crisis he had to struggle through writing it, and he later would describe it as 'a miscarriage'.Gaienhofen was also the place where Hesse's interest in Buddhism was resparked. After a letter to Kapff in 1895 entitled Nirvana, Hesse's Buddhist references were no longer alluded to in his works. This was rekindled, however, in 1904 when Arthur Schopenhauer and his philosophical ideas started receiving attention again, and Hesse discovered theosophy. Schopenhauer and theosophy are what renewed Hesse's interest in India. Although 1904 was many years before the publication of Hesse's Siddhartha (1922), this masterpiece was derived from these new influences.

Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Book Condition: New. One of the characteristics of the Journey to the East was that although the League aimed at quite definite, very lofty goals during this journey, yet every single participant could have his own private goals. My own goal for the journey, about which the President questioned me before my acceptance into the League was a simple one. Verify ISBN for International Edition, Year of Publication 8170262445. Bookseller Inventory # 163124

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