My View: This book has been waiting for several years on my bookshelf for me to pick it up. And I did, a few years ago, only to not be able to get into it and put it back.
This time, however, I was more dedicated and I could get into it. I always go into books, blinded. No reading the synopsis for me, thank you; which also means I am often taken aback because I thought this book was about Buddha. Apparently not. It’s about a boy Siddhartha who is NOT Buddha.
Was the story/ plot fantastic? Not really. It was alright. But I think the major thing to take from this book is the lesson it provides. That we cannot be taught, we learn things ourselves. We make mistakes, we fall down, we stumble and that’s how we learn.
I’m not sure about the writing as well. If the beauty was lost in translation because writing seems crude. There also seem to be several translations, I believe.
My favorite lines from the book, “Perhaps that you’re searching far too much? That in all that searching, you don’t find the time for finding? When someone is searching, then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with that goal. Searching means having a goal. But finding means being free, being open, having no goal. You are perhaps indeed a searcher because striving for your goal, there are many things you don’t see, which are directly in front of your eyes.”
The book is definitely not for everyone. And it’s one which you need to read at the right time, otherwise it’s not easy to get into it. But it’s a short, few hours read if you’re so intent.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?
3/5 stars – I liked it.
Date Published: January 1, 1922
Herman Hesse’s classic novel has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers. In this story of a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege to seek spiritual fulfillment. Hesse synthesizes disparate philosophies–Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism–into a unique vision of life as expressed through one man’s search for meaning.
About the Author
Many works, including Siddhartha (1922) and Steppenwolf (1927), of German-born Swiss writer Hermann Hesse concern the struggle of the individual to find wholeness and meaning in life; he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1946.
Other best-known works of this poet, novelist, and painter include The Glass Bead Game , which, also known as Magister Ludi, explore a search of an individual for spirituality outside society.
In his time, Hesse was a popular and influential author in the German-speaking world; worldwide fame only came later. Young Germans desiring a different and more “natural” way of life at the time of great economic and technological progress in the country, received enthusiastically Peter Camenzind , first great novel of Hesse.
Throughout Germany, people named many schools. In 1964, people founded the Calwer Hermann-Hesse-Preis, awarded biennially, alternately to a German-language literary journal or to the translator of work of Hesse to a foreign language. The city of Karlsruhe, Germany, also associates a Hermann Hesse prize.