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Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

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August 2010 Good Housekeeping selection.

On My Bookshelf by Joseph Fiennes...

I read Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse when I was 16 and it ignited my passion for literature – I’d been completely uninterested at school. It provides a simple breakdown of Buddhist philosophy as it follows a man who tries to find restoration on a higher plane.

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Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

This edition has a new introduction by Paulo Coelho. Siddhartha is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. Set in India, Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin's search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, from the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation.

About the Author

Hermann Hesse was born in Claw, Germany in 1877. As a child he lived for a time in Basle. He spent a short period studying at a seminary in Germany but soon left to work as a bookseller in Switzerland. From 1904 he devoted himself to writing. After a first volume of verse (1899), Hesse established his reputation with a series of lyrical romantic novels - Peter Camenzind (1904), Unterm Rad (1906) Gertrud (1910) and the short story, Knulp (1915).

After a visit to India in 1911 he moved to Switzerland and worked for the Red Cross during the First World War. He was denounced in Germany and settled permanently in Switzerland, where he established himself as one of the greatest literary figures of the German-speaking world. His humanity, his searching philosophy developed further in such novels as Siddartha (1922), Der Steppenwolf (1927), Narziss und Goldmund (1930) and Das Glasperlenspeil (1943), while his poems and critical writings won him a leading place among contemporary thinkers. Hesse won many literary awards, including the Nobel Prize in 1946. He died in 1962, shortly after his eighty-fifth birthday.

Thomas Mann said of him 'For me his lifework, with its roots in native German romanticism, for all its occasional strange individualism, its now humorously petulant and now mystically yearning estrangement from the world and the times, belongs to the highest and purest spiritual aspirations and labours of our epoch.'

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Book Info

Publication date

9th February 2018


Hermann Hesse

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General Press


126 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
Religious & spiritual fiction



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