The more traveling I do, the more wise I become (gerbie) wrote,
The more traveling I do, the more wise I become

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Herman Hesse - Siddhartha (01-074)

I swapped this one with an Irish guy, just before I left Sydney. As I had plenty to read in Indonesia, this one went in the parcel with some other books I had to send home anyway. Therefore I couldn't read it earlier. I was a bit reluctant, as I wanted to read this one in German, but he needed a book and I knew it was a classic, so we had a deal. I've seen several people mention this one as one of their favourites. It won't be in my top ten. Not that I disliked the book, but I've read plenty of other books that have impressed me more. Especially the other classic by Hesse, 'Der Steppenwolf' is in my humble opinion a lot better.

What didn't help was the introduction of the book. Biographical notes, explanations on a lot of the Indian terms and background analysis of it by some geezer who treats us to parts of his thesis, and in the meantime bored the shit out of me. It takes up about a third of the book in fact, way too long, but curious as I am, I'm afraid I miss out on some vital information if I don't read it. Well, if you happen to bump into this version, skip the intro and miss out on the two hours of 'look at me, I have read so much about Hesse, I know what he feels, I can tell what he thinks and how the main character is related to the author himself'-shit. One more chapter and he would have told us what colour Hesse's shit was!

The book itself is an interesting story about a boy in India, searching for the truth, for the meaning of life. Something way too many neo-, semi- and pseudo-hippies have done in that same country ever since. I assume that this book is a best-seller amongst them. To me it is nothing more than a nice story, not a bad one at all, but please stop finding deeper meanings in every sentence, it might not be there. It might actually be the intention of the author that you do start thinking yourself, not think like Siddhartha. My quote from the book: "Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom".
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