by Hermann Hesse
Translated by Hilda Rosner
Here the spirituality of the East and the West have met in a novel that enfigures deep human wisdom with a rich and colorful imagination.
Written in a prose of almost biblical simplicity and beauty, it is the story of a soul’s long quest in search of he ultimate answer to the enigma of man’s role on this earth. As a youth, the young Indian Siddhartha meets the Buddha but cannot be content with a disciple’s role: he must work out his own destiny and solve his own doubt―a tortuous road that carries him through the sensuality of a love affair with the beautiful courtesan Kamala, the temptation of success and riches, the heartache of struggle with his own son, to final renunciation and self-knowledge.
The name “Siddhartha” is one often given to the Buddha himself―perhaps a clue to Hesse’s aims in contrasting the traditional legendary figure with his own conception, as a European (Hesse was Swiss), of a spiritual explorer.