Hermann Hesse: Siddhartha. Eine indische Dichtung

(1274 words)
  • James M. Skidmore (University of Waterloo)

Siddhartha is a Sanskrit word meaning “the one who has accomplished his goal”. The eponymous protagonist of Siddhartha (1922) eventually achieves his goal, and Hesse’s novel is essentially the story of Siddhartha’s voyage of self-discovery. As with Hesse’s other important novels of the 1920s, Demian and Der Steppenwolf, Siddhartha is a tale about the quest for enlightenment, about finding one’s way in a world that marginalizes the more serious-minded.

Hesse wrote Siddhartha between 1919 and 1922. Set in India, the novel reveals the author’s interest in and familiarity with the subcontinent and its religious and cultural practices. Hesse’s grandfather had been a …

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Skidmore, James M.. "Siddhartha. Eine indische Dichtung". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 February 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11490, accessed 26 September 2016.]