Siddartha by Hermann Hesse – Book review by Dr. Preeti Chauhan
Genre – Spiritual , Fiction
Price – Paperback -INR 99/-, Hardback INR 120/-, Kindle -INR 15.5
You can buy it here
About Hermann Hesse – The Author
Hermann Hesse (born in 1877) was a German-born Swiss poet, author and painter. He is best known for his novels ‘Steppenwolf’, ‘Siddhartha’, and ‘The Glass Bead Game’. During his growing years ,at the behest of his father, he entered the Maulbronn seminary but left a year later as his love for writing beckoned to him.
Hermann Hesse came and lived in India in 1910s and wrote this book in 1922 in German language, it soon became a cult favourite of spiritual seekers.
He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. His writings focus on man’s struggle to break away from the rigid structures of civilization and follow his essential and inner spirit to finally achieve spiritual self-realization. Hesse became a literary cult figure for this breaking away from the norm in the 1960s.
Siddartha by Hermann Hesse – Review
Siddhartha’ is Hermann Hesse’s allegorical novel, which takes us along the spiritual journey of an Indian boy named Siddhartha. This book is set in the times of Gautam Buddha- the enlightened monk. The story revolves around a young Siddartha, who leaves his home behind in search of the truth and enlightenment. He embarks on a journey that takes him from the rigors of abandonment to the waste of wealth.
His journey takes him through a myriad of human experiences, from hunger and need, to joy, pain, greed, longing, boredom, love, lust, despair and hope. His journey that eventually leads him to a river where he ultimately achieves peace and wisdom.
What I loved about Siddartha by Hermann Hesse
Though I was skeptical about a German writing about an Indian boy but at no point did I feel that I was reading the work of somebody not born in India. Hermann portrays an accurate picture of the Indian traditions and ethos in his book.
Further still, not having read the original “Siddartha” written by Hermann in German ,I still found the translation in English to be beautiful. There is a lyrical quality to the prose which I find very soothing and appealing.
Finally, the only downside to this book is also its upside for some and that is the size of the book. It is a very concisely written book with not a word wasted which made it a very slim book of just 144 pages. At the end ,I just wished there was more to learn and explore.
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