I admittedly approached this work with my naivety exposed like a wound. The extent of my dealings with Buddhist philosophy/religion is comprised of one read-through of the Buddhist Scriptures, a collegiate course crammed with the study of most major Eastern religions and, now, this book.
Amidst Hesse’s gorgeous poetic prose, masterfully mirroring the subject matter, I found myself wondering what kind of story I was reading. Is it entirely fiction? To my knowledge, Saddhartha’s biography was not quite like the tale Hesse tells. Did Hesse simply employ the Buddha’s philosophies and his early name simply to express his own take on any person’s spiritual journey? And if so, what kind of credibility does Hesse have in rendering such philosophies?
In any event, I found this to be a great book. Many book lovers will undoubtedly attest to the feeling of simply loving a single printed word, the smell of a freshly cracked book and the various levels of coarseness felt at the fingertips. Hesse recklessly exploits these sensations in Saddhartha. And the philosophies are fascinating! So fascinating, in fact, that I will attempt to employ some of them now by turning from the desire to organize and reconstruct them in a comprehensible and easily dictated fashion and just let them go to work on me.