Siddhartha, Herman Hesse

It's only chemo

If we could divide books into two genres, Odyssey books and Iliad books, Siddhartha would be an exemplary Odyssey book. However, Siddhartha departs from Odysseus. He goes on a circular journey, encounters isolation, a courtesan and a wealthy merchant. He is detained by water and eventually realises that the world is an illusion to be detached from. Odysseus wants no such detachment. Hesse’s biggest argument here is against modern individualism, of which the Odyssey is the founding myth.

Siddhartha is like a well researched, post-Enlightenment version of Rasselas. I think of it as, in some ways, the opposite of Ulysses. It is no surprise that Hesse spent time in an asylum when he was young and spent periods of his life in isolation. Like many other Western wisdom-literature books (think Thoreau) this is a late-Romantic work that probably smuggles its beliefs past casual readers.

Hesse’s real challenge to readers…

View original post 31 more words

1 thought on “Siddhartha, Herman Hesse

Leave a Reply to Jeff Japp Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.