On Our Shelves Recently
Hermann Hesse’s classic novel in a new edition containing original writings attributed to the Buddha, The Dhammapada.
Written in a prose of almost biblical simplicity and beauty, Siddhartha is the story of a soul’s long quest for the answer to the enigma of man’s role on earth. As a youth, the young Indian Siddhartha meets the Buddha but isn’t content with the disciple’s role. He must work out his own destiny—a torturous road on which he experiences a love affair with the beautiful courtesan Kamala, the temptation of success and riches, the heartache of struggling with his own son, and finally, renunciation and self-knowledge.
The name “Siddhartha” is often given to the Buddha himself—perhaps a clue to Hesse’s aims contrasting the traditional legendary figure with his own conception.
This new edition of the classic Siddhartha includes The Dhammapada (“Path of Virtue”), the 423 verses attributed to the Buddha himself, which forms the essence of the ethics of Buddhist philosophy.
About the Author
Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and Magister Ludi.
The Buddha is a title given to the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama (c. 563-460 B.C.). Born an Indian prince, he renounced wealth and family, became an ascetic, and after achieving enlightenment through meditation, taught all who came to learn from him.
Hilda Rosner is an author and translator.
Irving Babbitt (1865-1933) was an American academic and literary critic.
Hermann Hesse is the greatest writer of the century.
— San Francisco Chronicle
Delight in Hesse signifies a new delight in human mysteries, in life’s possibilities, in the power of the will and the pleasures of the imagination.
— The Nation
In Siddhartha the setting is Indian and we encounter the Buddha, but the author’s ethos is still closer to Goethe....
— The Washington Post Book World
One could even hope that Hesse’s readers are hungrily imbibing Siddhartha, and that they will be so wisely foolish as to live by it.
— Chicago Tribune