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About the book
  • Published: 18 August 2008
  • ISBN: 9780141189574
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: $19.99

Siddhartha




Hermann Hesse's moving and inspirational chronicle of spiritual evolution, Siddhartha, includes a new introduction by bestselling author Paulo Coehlo in Penguin Classics.

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.

Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) suffered from depression, endured criticism for his pacifist views, and weathered series of personal crises which led him to undergo psychoanalysis with J. B. Lang; a process which resulted in Demian (1919), a novel whose main character is torn between the orderliness of bourgeois existence and the turbulent and enticing world of sensual experience. This dichotomy is prominent in Hesse's subsequent novels, including Siddhartha (1922), Steppenwolf (1927), Narcissus and Goldmund (1930) and his magnum opus, The Glass Bead Game (1943). Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.

Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil and has become one of the most widely read authors in the world. Especially renowned for The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, he has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and has been translated into 66 languages.

If you enjoyed Siddhartha, you might like Hesse's Steppenwolf, also available in Penguin Classics.

  • Pub date: 18 August 2008
  • ISBN: 9780141189574
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Authors

Hesse Hermann

Hermann Hesse ws born in southern Germany in 1877.  His most famous works are Siddhartha (1922), Journey to the East (1932), Demian (1919), Steppenwolf (1927), and Narziss and Goldmund (1930).  Hesse died at his home in Switzerland in 1962.

Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse was born in Calw, Württemberg, in 1877. He intended to follow in his father's footsteps as a Protestant pastor and missionary, but rebelled against traditional academic education and instead worked for a while as a bookseller, antique dealer and mechanic. After his first novel Peter Camenzind was published in 1904, he devoted himself to writing. In 1919, as a protest against German militarism in the First World War, Hesse moved back to Switzerland where he lived in self-imposed exile until his death at the age of eighty-five in 1962.

Hesse was strongly influenced by his interest in music, the psychoanalytic theories of Jung and Eastern thought. His early novels were traditional, but with the publication in 1919 of Demian, a Freudian study of adolescence with Nietzschean emphasis on the superior individual, he became an 'uninhibited innovator.' Each of his later novels, including Steppenwolf, Siddhartha and Narcissus and Goldmund, was a step in Hesse's determined search for the self. The Glass Bead Game (Das Glasperlenspiel [Magister Ludi]) was his last and consummate work.


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