Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

siddharthaSiddhartha is my first Hermann Hesse read and this is not a book I’d normally pick up from a bookstore but one of my best friends loved it so much so I thought, why not?

Siddhartha is a son of a Brahmin and the book revolves around his spiritual journey, his search for the divine. I first thought the story was about Buddhism but not really, so the title is a bit misleading.

After I finished reading, I wasn’t so sure what the book was trying to convey. What’s the reader suppose to have learned from this book? From Siddhartha’s journey? Or Govinda’s? Why was he so confused until the end? Should I see this novel according to the context of when it was written to understand what it meant?

Perhaps I should give it time for a second read. Maybe I missed a lot key points or probably have read it the wrong time. The writing was kinda stilted but maybe it’s on the translation. I also didn’t find the book inspiring but maybe it’s just not for me. The typical “it’s not you, it’s me” situation.

As I’ve mentioned, this is my first Hermann Hesse read. I wasn’t quite satisfied as the book didn’t touch/affect me but maybe it was just a wrong start for me of his works. I’d still try to read another work of his, however, is his other works more of the same?

Quotable Quotes:

“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”

“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”

“What could I say to you that would be of value, except that perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find.”

“It may be important to great thinkers to examine the world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect.”

“Your soul is the whole world.”

Rating: 2/5 stars

 

Quote of the Week

We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.

~Hermann Hesse

Quote of the Week

Often it is the most deserving people who cannot help loving those who destroy them.

-Hermann Hesse

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